by SEAN KIMMONS
Two men accused of rape and violent acts against two young women in separate incidents were recently indicted on several felonies by the Hays County Grand Jury, court records show.
Willie Griffin, 46, allegedly kidnapped a 17-year-old woman in Austin then took her to a secluded area near a Hays County highway, where he raped and stabbed her before leaving her for dead on March 15, an arrest affidavit says.
The teenager was later found naked along U.S. Highway 290 near Dripping Springs with 10 stab wounds to the chest and abdomen, according to the report.
A composite sketch of the suspect was released to the media, and, in early April, the U.S. Marshal’s Office nabbed Griffin in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida, investigators say.
When questioned, Griffin denied the allegations and reportedly told detectives, “I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear,” the affidavit says.
He is now charged with attempted murder, aggravated kidnapping and three counts of aggravated sexual assault, all first-degree felonies. He also faces aggravated assault with serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony, records show.
Griffin was originally charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault, among other charges. The Hays County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the reasoning behind the additional sexual assault charges. In addition, no defense attorney has been assigned to his case and a court date has not yet been set.
In the other case, August Palermo, 26, of Kyle, is accused of beating and sexually assaulting his 18-year-old girlfriend, records show.
Palermo reportedly let the teenager move into his Plum Creek home, where a majority of the abuse took place, another arrest affidavit says.
When the alleged victim informed Palermo that she wanted to split up on March 6, he attacked her and strangled her before taunting her with a knife, telling her that she was going to die, the report says.
The woman persuaded Palermo to stop when she told him that they could work things out and promised to keep the blowup a secret. Once released, she ran out of the home toward a group of construction workers down the street, the affidavit says.
With Palermo’s permission, police searched his home and located a knife on the bed in the master bedroom. Palermo refused to give up the knife for evidence and also would not explain how he got scratches on his hands, police say.
Investigators say the woman discussed the assault as well as a sexual assault a few days before. In that incident, the woman claimed Palermo violently raped her with an inanimate object, according to the report.
Palermo faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, sexual assault and a family violence assault with strangulation, all second-degree felonies. He is also charged with being a repeat offender of family violence, a third-degree felony, records show.
In March 2010, Palermo pleaded guilty to a family violence assault charge and received 18 months of probation, according to records.
Palermo’s retained attorney, Jason Trumpler, could not be reached for comment. No trial date has been set.
Both suspects remain in custody at Hays County Jail; Palermo on bonds worth $200,000 and Griffin on bonds totaling $650,000, jails records show.