A Muscogee County Superior Court judge set a $25,000 bond for a downtown business owner who was accused last month of raping a 22-year-old woman in a Columbus State University dorm room.
Larry Gene Kirkland, 50, has been held without bond since he was arrested and charged with one count of rape on June 1. Kirkland pleaded not guilty to the charge on June 3 in Recorder’s Court.
Kirkland’s attorney, Stacey Jackson, said Kirkland was released from Muscogee County Jail at about 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Senior Superior Court Judge John Allen ordered that Kirkland restrict his downtown activity to his businesses and residence. Kirkland owns Picasso Pizza and is the manager of The Uptown Tap, a bar in the 1000 block. He lives in an apartment that is in the same vicinity as the restaurant and bar.
“Basically, what the judge said was he could be in the downtown area where he works and where he lives,” Jackson said.
Kirkland was ordered not to have any contact with the woman he is accused of raping and not to talk to state witnesses, unless they work for him, Jackson said.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Don Kelly asked Allen for a bond between $50,000 and $75,000. Kelly also expressed concern about the fact that some potential witnesses work for Kirkland.
“We did address that,” Kelly said. “The judge made it clear that he may have to talk to some of them about work, but he is not to talk to them about this case.”
Kirkland has not been indicted and the District Attorney’s Office is still awaiting lab results from the examination that was performed on the victim, Kelly said.
Kirkland and the victim knew each other. The victim claims she had two shots — a cocktail called an Irish Car Bomb, according to Recorder’s Court testimony — after getting off work downtown, police said. She claimed she was drugged and did not remember anything until she woke up in her bed the next day, according to CSU police.
The woman did not testify at the Recorder’s Court hearing, but told CSU police during the investigation that she tried to piece together what happened by talking to friends and Kirkland.
Kirkland told CSU police the victim had bitten him and the officer observed a bite mark on Kirkland’s chest, a CSU police officer said during the Recorder’s Court hearing.
The woman had two bruises on her left arm and one bruise on her left thigh, according to testimony.
Columbus State Police arrested Kirkland on June 1 after video placed Kirkland and the victim in the downtown dorm room between 5:15 a.m. and 6:39 a.m. Friday, May 29, according to CSU police.
This story has been updated with Kirkland's release time.