A man was convicted Friday afternoon of raping two young women last year near the Troy University campus. Andre Lamon Ellis, 36, was found guilty of the charges by a Pike County jury which deliberated only a couple of hours. One of the alleged victims was a student at the university at the time of the reported attacks.
The verdict came after three days of testimony during which the defense argued there is no substantial evidence Ellis committed the crimes. The women were allegedly attacked in separate incidents March 26, 2012 in a mobile home park where they lived and where Ellis also resided.
"I want to thank and praise the two victims and their families for their patience and diligence in bringing this vicious criminal to justice," Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson said. "Those young ladies, so brutally violated, came forward to report their attacks and stood strong throughout the process to regain power and control from their attacker."
Anderson continued,"We, in the criminal justice system, need the victims of sexual assaults to report these crimes and testify and so that we may make every effort to restore to them their dignity and deter future crimes. Statistics are overwhelming that a tremendous number of rape victims never tell anyone about their attack and even higher numbers never report it to police," he said.
Ellis, a small business owner, was arrested April 25---one month after the two students reported they were sexually assaulted at Hunter's Mountain Mobile Estates. The neighborhood is located several miles from the Troy University Campus.
Ellis was also convicted of burglary and will be sentenced at a later date. Anderson said he plans to ask for life without parole sentences.