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Prosecutors Outraged at Judge's Release of Man Accused of Violent Rape

Sept. 21, 2006 Prosecutors said they were outraged Thursday at a judge's decision to release what they called a "career criminal" charged with sexually assaulting another man with a baseball bat.
Ashley Williams, 49, was arrested in November 2005 for allegedly luring a man to his house with crack cocaine then forcibly sodomizing him with a wooden baseball bat.
Williams faces charges of aggravated rape, using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence, assault and unlawful sexual contact.
He has pleaded innocent.
Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar initially ordered Williams held on $57,000 bail, then raised the amount to $150,000.
But in a pretrial conference Wednesday, Judge Leon Kendall set Williams free on a $10,000 unsecured bond meaning Williams did not have to post any money but will owe the court if he fails to appear at his November trial.
"Our office is outraged," said Charlotte Poole Davis, the acting attorney general.
"This is not a person who had a brush with the law he's a career criminal," Davis said. "I don't understand."
Dating back to 1977, Williams has at least 22 prior arrests, including 15 felony arrests.
He's been charged with rape at least four times and has been convicted at least four times of grand larceny and assault, according to court documents, which did not list the outcome of all charges.
"Clearly he's a danger to the community," said Renee Gumbs-Carty, the assistant attorney general who asked Kendall to keep Williams in jail until the trial.
Court records show Williams is unemployed, single and has three children.
He allegedly drove the bleeding rape victim to a cemetery after the attack. The victim was treated at Roy L. Schneider Hospital, where he told police what had happened. Williams was arrested that night.
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