A homeless man with HIV raped a woman on Feb. 3 near the Chattahoochee River at the intersection of First Avenue and 17th Street, according to testimony Monday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Joseph Lee Sims, 55, pleaded not guilty to rape, sodomy, reckless conduct HIV and giving false information to police.
Columbus Police Officer Christina Lombardo said she was called to the Homeless Resource Network at 2221 Second Ave. around 9:20 a.m. Feb. 3 to investigate a sexual assault.
The victim identified Sims as the individual whom she said restrained and raped her earlier that day around 8 a.m. She couldn’t recall exactly where the incident occurred, but she stated it was near the river, Lombardo told the court.
Sims was taken into custody at Homeless Resource Network at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
Lombardo said as Sims was being transported to the jail, he denied raping the woman. When he arrived, he allegedly made another statement to detectives about the incident.
“He stated that he ‘had the white b---- without a condom,’” Lombardo testified.
Judge Julius Hunter ordered Sims to return to the Muscogee County Jail, where he is being held without bond on the rape, sodomy and reckless conduct HIV charges. He was given a $250 bond on the false information charge.
The case was bound over to Superior Court.
“I’m going to be free one way or the other,” Sims said as he was being escorted out of the courtroom.
Detective Amanda Hogan said jail records indicate that Sims was arrested in 1996 for HIV reckless conduct.