Person of interest in rape case flees from police - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Person of interest in rape case flees from police

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November 25, 2007

Cuthbert -- Wanted signs have been posted by the Randolph County Sheriff's Office for 41-year-old Charles Powers; a man with a lengthy criminal past.

"He's been in trouble for a long time back and forth," says Randolph County Sheriff Gary Yochum.

Powers, who has certainly become accustomed to having his mugshot taken, was arrested Thanksgiving Day for violating his parole. But that same morning, the Randolph County Sheriff's Office and the GBI were called out to investigate a sexual assault in Shellman, the city Powers calls home.

"Deputies talked to the victim, and she explained to them that she had been sexually assaulted. She was not sure if the suspect might still be in the house," said Yochum.

With the suspect on the loose, investigators questioned Powers about the sexual assault of a 63-year-old Shellman woman that had taken place between the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. Thursday morning.

Yochum said, "He was questioned about the case and was brought to jail on the parole warrant, at which time he was cuffed and brought from Shellman to Cuthbert."

But when Powers arrived at the Randolph County Jail just after 7 p.m. Thursday night, he managed to escape from police custody. He was able to get one of his hands free from the handcuffs, and when the deputy attempted to remove him from the patrol car, he shoved the door into the deputy, knocking him to the ground. At this time, Powers was able to run out of the gate, heading west on Church Street.

Powers was last seen wearing a camouflage shirt and blue jeans. Right now, police are hoping anyone with information will contact them.

"Anybody that know his whereabouts should certainly call local law enforcement or the Randolph County Sheriff's Office," says Yochum.

While just a person of interest in the sexual assault case, it is still important for law enforcement to get this escapee off the streets.

The GBI collected evidence from the home where the sexual assault took place. That evidence has been sent to crime lab.

As for Charles Powers, he's still very much a person of interest in this case and has several ties to the South Georgia area.

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