What is sexual violence?
Jakuarus Taron Ellison was a homeless 16-year-old with a pellet gun resembling a revolver when he went on a one-day crime spree that included raping a woman in the Peachtree Mall parking lot as security guards watched on video.
The guards assumed Ellison and the 19-year-old woman he’d abducted from Columbus Park Crossing were having consensual sex, and told them to leave the mall property.
The victim never got a chance to say anything.
She was among four people Ellison accosted April 28 and 29, 2017, using his pellet pistol that looked just like a real gun to intimidate them. He robbed three of them, including the woman he kidnapped and raped, and tried to rob a fourth, authorities said.
Now 18 years old, Ellison pleaded guilty Tuesday to rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault and three counts of armed robbery before Superior Court Judge Ron Mullins sentenced him to serve 18 years in prison with life on probation.
Prosecutor George Lipscomb said that back in 2017, Ellison’s family wanted nothing to do with him, leaving him to his own ends. Police still don’t know where he got the pellet pistol, but the manner in which he used it formed a pattern that soon became apparent to police.
It started around lunchtime on April 28 outside the Krystal restaurant at 5412 Veterans Parkway, where Ellison went to a man’s car in the parking lot and asked the motorist for change. When the man pulled out money, Ellison pointed the pistol through the window and took $160, police said.
About 1:30 a.m. that night, the 19-year-old woman was in her car outside the T.G.I. Fridays at 3116 Adams Farm Drive, waiting to pick up a boyfriend who worked there. Ellison came to her car window and asked for change for $5, and left when she said she didn’t have it.
Then he came back and jumped through a car window she’d left open. He told her he had a weapon and ordered her to drive to the movie theater at Peachtree Mall, where he had her park between the theater and a JC Penney store.
Ellison demanded the car, but the woman wouldn’t give it up. He demanded sex, and she refused. He pulled out the gun and compelled her to strip and give him intercourse.
Meanwhile, mall security watched through cameras monitoring the parking lot. The car was there for 22 minutes.
“Mall security guards were actually watching the incident, thinking that it was consensual and not thinking it was a crime occurring,” Detective Amanda Hogan testified during Ellison’s Recorder’s Court hearing on May 2, 2017.
When a security guard approached the car, Ellison hid the gun in the glove compartment as he and the woman hurriedly dressed. The guard ordered them to leave.
“The victim said she didn’t even have a chance to say anything,” Hogan testified.
As they left, the victim told Ellison she needed gas, and they stopped at a Chevron station on the Manchester Expressway, where he took $4 from her and got out. She sped away.
Ellison walked into the gas station, where the clerk saw the gun in his waistband and told him he couldn’t bring it in, Lipscomb said Tuesday. So Ellison set the pellet pistol outside on the ground, went in and bought a soft drink, then retrieved the gun as he left.
Next he tried to rob two people in rapid succession on the north end of Veterans Parkway, first confronting a man in his car in the parking lot of apartments at 7700 Veterans Parkway.
The man told Ellison he had no money on him, but had some in his apartment. When they got to the apartment door, the man slammed and locked the door in Ellison’s face, escaping inside, Lipscomb said.
That was around 10:30 a.m. From there Ellison walked two minutes to the Walgreens drug store at 7869 Veterans Parkway, where he ordered a woman in the parking lot to give him a ride.
She refused, and tried to talk him out of committing robbery, telling him it would get him into more trouble, and even giving him a hug, Lipscomb said.
She also gave him $80 she withdrew from a bank machine in the store, with the exchange captured on surveillance video, the prosecutor said.
With police hunting for him, Ellison went from the Walgreens to another nearby store, where he bought a T-shirt and a hat to disguise himself, Lipscomb said.
When officers got there, the store clerk told them what Ellison was wearing when he came in, and pointed them to the suspect, who was sitting in the parking lot by a trash can.
In the garbage, police found his old clothes and the pellet pistol. Arranging photographic lineups, investigators showed the pictures to each victim, and each picked Ellison’s image, Lipscomb said.
That’s how the escapade finally came to an end, having begun around midday the day before. “It was about a 24-hour crime spree using a pellet pistol,” Lipscomb said.
Some court records spelled Ellison’s name “Jaquarious Ta’Ron Ellison.”