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Bond decision delayed on Fort Gordon-based sailors accused of rape

From left: Teddy Diake, Johnathan Augustus, and Michael Billington.

RICHMOND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE/FACEBOOK

By SANDY HODSON | The Augusta Chronicle | Published: March 16, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Tribune News Service) — A decision about bond for one of the sailors stationed at Fort Gordon accused of rape was delayed Friday for the judge to consider bond for all three men at the same hearing.

During a bond hearing for Michael Billington, 24, the prosecutor described what happened March 3 at a house party. The 18-year-old woman was extremely intoxicated when Billington pulled her into a bedroom where Teddy Diake and Johnathan Augustus were waiting, Assistant District Attorney Stetson Croomer said. She was pushed down onto the bed, disrobed, and raped and sodomized by the three men, Croomer said.

The woman said she couldn't resist because of her intoxicated state and because her hands were pinned down, he said. At one point she heard two of them discussing if she had consented or not, Croomer said.

While Billington had no criminal history, Croomer said his office was highly opposed to bond for three men who saw an extremely intoxicated woman and decided to take advantage of her. "They knew what they were doing."

The woman spoke during the bond hearing. "Michael Billington brought me into that room where he knew they were going to hurt me," she said. "I feel used and less than human."

Defense attorney Keith Johnson asked Senior Judge J. David Roper for a reasonable bond for the 24-year who has served his country in the Navy for five years. Billington was raised by his grandmother and is now helping to support her. Billington gave a full statement and cooperated fully with law enforcement, and he has a strong defense, Johnson said.

Roper delayed making a decision on bond until he can preside over a bond hearing for all three men. It is to be set next week.

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