Thursday, December 16, 2021

Nashville man convicted in 2019 rape of pregnant woman who jumped from 3rd floor to escape

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A Davidson County jury this week convicted a Nashville man of charges including rape and robbery after he broke into a pregnant woman’s Antioch apartment and attacked her at knifepoint two years ago.

After a four-day trial before Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Smith, jurors found 19-year-old Dantis Lakka-Lako guilty of two counts of rape causing aggravated bodily injury, one count of especially aggravated burglary and one count of especially aggravated robbery in the Sept. 5, 2019, attack.

Jurors, who handed down the verdict Thursday, also convicted him of two counts of theft of property after the determined he stole her purse and vehicle from her home on the day of the rape in which Nashville police detectives say the pregnant woman got a hold of the rapist’s knife, and cut through a screen of her third-floor window, before jumping to the ground to escape.

Assistant District Attorney Doug Thurman, who prosecuted the case, said the woman and her unborn baby, now a little girl, survived.

Thurman, who on Friday called the victim “one of the bravest people he’s ever met,” said Lakka-Lako faces between 15 and 86 years in prison when he is sentenced next year.

A 2019 rape victim's stolen Toyota Camry caught on video leaving the Bell Road apartment complex where she lived.

A 2019 rape victim’s stolen Toyota Camry caught on video leaving the Bell Road apartment complex where she lived.

The day of the attack

The sexual assault took place inside the then 30-year-old woman’s Bell Road third-floor apartment, the Metro Nashville Police Department reported.

Lakka-Lako was 16 at the time and originally charged in juvenile court. His case was later transferred to adult court.

The following is what the jury found:

On the day of the late afternoon attack, Lakka-Lako followed the pregnant woman to her apartment at 4 p.m. and entered her home.

Lakka-Lako snuck into the woman’s bedroom armed with a knife from her kitchen, stole money from her purse and raped her.

During a struggle with him, she managed to hit him over the head with a bottle.

He fled the room and she jumped from her third-story window to escape. She suffered serious injuries in the jump, managed to flag down a neighbor for help and was taken to a hospital.

After the rape, he stole her Toyota Camry, which was found two days later at his apartment complex about a mile away. Detectives linked him to the case after the car was forensically analyzed for evidence at the MNPD’s crime laboratory.

In addition, a person matching the suspect’s description used the woman’s stolen credit card four times at a Bell Road convenience market.

Statements made by the Lakka-Lako during an interview with a detective led to the arrest, police said.

Lakka-Lako is set to be sentenced on Jan. 14.

Natalie Neysa Alund is based in Nashville at The Tennessean and covers breaking news across the South for the USA TODAY Network. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville man convicted of raping, robbing pregnant woman



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