Johnny Jennings, the police chief of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday criticized an unnamed judge’s decision to reduce a repeat violent offender’s bond from $2 million to $50,000.
Octavis Wilson, 29, is facing charges of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree forcible rape, assault on a female, sexual battery, assault with a deadly weapon and other charges.
“We were pleased and appreciative of the original decision by the Mecklenburg County Magistrate’s Office to issue a $2 million bond for Octavis Wilson, a violent repeat offender. However, a judge decided just days later to lower this individual’s bond to a mere $50k,” Jennings said in a Wednesday tweet. “The CMPD takes violent offenses against our community members extremely serious and as we continue to utilize every resource possible to hold those offenders accountable.”
Wilson is most recently accused of striking up a conversation with a woman who was walking in northwest Charlotte before “brutally” attacking and sexually assaulting her, police announced on Nov. 5.
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The offender has a lengthy history of prior charges. Most recently, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and attempted first-degree forcible rape on Sept. 16. He was released less than a month later on Oct. 5, according to Mecklenburg County.
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In April, Wilson was charged with assault to inflict serious injury and released in June. Last year, authorities charged the 29-year-old with attempted first-degree forcible rape and assault with a deadly weapon for a Sept. 13, 2021, incident before he was released on Sept. 30, 2021.
Prior to that, authorities charged Wilson with assault on a female, communicating threats and larceny for a Feb. 9, 2021, incident before releasing him on Feb. 22, 2021.
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“What kind of message are we sending to our citizens when they see these offenders get right back out after committing very serious crimes against them?” Jennings asked. “Our job is to do everything in our power to not only keep the community safe but to make them feel safe.”
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The police chief continued, “We continue to ask our judicial partners to take these crimes just as serious as we do. There’s no bond amount that is sufficient for a community’s peace of mind regarding their safety.”
While Republicans flipped the North Carolina Supreme Court, Mecklenburg County on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly for a Democratic district attorney and Democratic district judges — many of whom ran unopposed. Democrats also won all nine seats on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, according to the Charlotte Observer.