Martinez, GA – A Martinez man has been arrested after being accused of raping a woman and chasing her to a gas station.
On Thursday, August 13th, a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Circle K gas station/convenience store located at 3934 Washington Road in Martinez for a reported rape incident.
When the deputy arrived, he made contact with the female victim, who was inside the store with a “ripped shirt and was hysterical”.
Two witnesses spoke to deputies and the woman was able to give statement to deputies and identified the suspect, 53-year-old Dane Walter Lewless. Lewless’ car, a Ford Taurus with a South Carolina tag, was parked at tone of the gas pumps. The car’s back window was shattered and a large rock was still on the back deck of the car.
EMS then arrived to evaluate the victim.
The woman told deputies she had been drinking at The Finish Line Cafe, which is located at 3960 Wrightsboro Road in Augusta, and needed a ride home. She said Lewless her a ride to where she was staying. While on the way, she said Lewless told her he needed to stop to pay his babysitter for watching his son. He reportedly stopped at his house, located at 3945 Almon Drive in Martinez, and left her in the car. The woman told deputies she was in the car for a few minutes then Lewless opened her door and dragged her into his residence.
According to the incident report, after being dragged into Lewless’ residence, he proceeded to rape her.
She then escaped, grabbed her things, and ran out of the door, according to the report, and Lewless chased after her. Once outside the home, the woman said she found a large rock and smashed the back window to Lewless’ vehicle with it, distracting him long enough for her to run down the street towards Circle K. Once she made it to Circle K, she told patrons in the parking lot what had happened, before Lewless pulled up in and attempted to confront the woman.
The two men who witnessed this attempted confrontation told deputies they saw the woman come running up and yelling that she had been raped.
They told deputies they had seen Lewless drive up looking for the woman after the she had arrived.
Deputies began looking for Lewless and the woman was transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center for further evaluation.
Lewless is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center, without bond, on charges of Rape, Kidnapping, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.