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DA Ballard upset after rapist of disabled woman gets 25 years

A Hampton man will serve all 25 years of a prison sentence he received last week for raping a 24-year-old woman who suffers from Down Syndrome at a Fayetteville home one year ago.

Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said he was disappointed by the verdict because it was the minimum sentence allowed by law.

Although the defendant, William Jeffrey Dumas of New Hope Road in Hampton, will serve the sentence without parole, Ballard was hoping for a much stronger sentence given the victim’s condition as an aggravating circumstance in the case.

A Fayette County jury found Dumas guilty in September for two counts of rape and one count of aggravated sodomy relating to the case. The victim testified about the encounters and Dumas declined to testify in his own defense.

“I was disappointed,” Ballard said of the sentence issued to Dumas. “... I was hoping for more because I felt the crime deserved more.”

The sentence was handed down by Judge Christopher McFadden of the Georgia Court of Appeals, who heard the case as a guest Superior Court judge. Based on information contained in his biography on the Court of Appeals website, McFadden took office in January 2010 with no prior judicial experience but a significant amount of time trying cases before the Court of Appeals.

Once Dumas serves his prison sentence, he will be on probation for the rest of his life, Ballard noted.

Dumas did not testify in the case but some of his words were used to convict him. Ballard referenced how Dumas first told sheriff’s deputies that the victim had made similar accusations against someone else in the past. Ballard noted at trial that a sheriff’s detective tracked down that rumor, and it proved to be false.

“It’s all a big lie,” Ballard told the jury in his closing statement. “What do guilty people do? They lie.”

Through his attorney, Dumas denied the accusations and claimed they were untrue.

There was also physical evidence in the case: the presence of Dumas’s semen on the sheet of a bed the victim slept on and also a doctor’s observation that an exam of the victim showed damage that was consistent with forcible sexual intercourse.

Defense attorney Chris Ramig argued that the semen stain got on the sheets sometime after they were last washed and changed two or three weeks prior to the alleged incidents.

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