Gang member faces charge he raped man

February 10, 2011 

A man who recently pleaded guilty to two felonies in connection with the Hilltop Crips crackdown now faces allegations he raped a man in the Pierce County Jail.

Not-guilty pleas to three counts of second-degree rape were entered Wednesday on behalf of Andre L. Bonds, 38.

A man who shared a cell with Bonds in May told a detective the defendant sexually assaulted him on three occasions after corrections officers locked down the jail for the night.

Many inmates are bunked two to a cell, jail spokesman Ed Troyer told The News Tribune. Each of those cells has a call button an inmate can push to alert a corrections officer to problems, Troyer said.

Bonds, who is 6 feet 5 and weights 230 pounds, threatened to beat the man if he resisted or called for help, court records state.

“The defendant told (the cell mate) that if he yelled or said anything, he would break his neck,” court records show.

The second inmate is about 6 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds. He was booked into the jail in April on a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated, records show.

In a letter to jail staff, Bonds denied attacking the man. He wrote he “practically grew up in this jail and being sexually involved with another man is totally out of the question for me,” court records show.

A state forensic scientist found some biological evidence on the second inmate’s clothing, the records show. Further tests on the evidence are pending.

The allegations came to light in late May while the second inmate was being interviewed by Western State Hospital staff members, court records show.

Troyer said the Sheriff’s Department “did a full investigation, got the victim counseling” as soon as he reported the alleged attacks.

Reports of rape in the jail are rare, Troyer said.

“Whenever we receive a report, we treat it seriously and investigate it,” he said.

At the time of the alleged rapes, Bonds was in jail awaiting trial on charges brought against him as part of a law enforcement crackdown on the Hilltop Crips, one of Tacoma’s oldest street gangs.

He eventually pleaded guilty to riot and conspiracy to commit drive-by shooting in that case and was sentenced to five years in prison. That sentence is running concurrently with a 23-year sentence he received in 2009 for a first-degree assault conviction.

Bonds was transferred from the state prison system to the jail Tuesday to answer the rape charges.

He is being held in an isolation cell 23 hours a day. He is closely monitored by jail staff during the hour he’s allowed out to shower, use the telephone and exercise, Troy-er said.

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