Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anthony Paul Poteat Charged with Sexual Battery on Mentally Disabled Girl

A judge denied bond Saturday for a 42-year-old man charged with the sexual battery of a 16-year-old mentally disabled girl and locking up her brother in his room at nights.

Anthony Paul Poteat, wearing a red and white Marion County Jail outfit with his hands behind his back in handcuffs, told Circuit Court Judge Jack Singbush that he needed a public defender. Poteat told the judge that, since his arrest, he has been terminated from his job at Dollar General, where he was a clerk.

Before dismissing him, the judge told Poteat not to have any contact with the alleged victim.

"The best thing for me to do is to keep my mouth shut," said Poteat, standing outside the courtroom at the jail, when asked if he wanted to make a comment to the Star-Banner.

On Tuesday, an unconscious Poteat was taken to Munroe Regional Medical Center by sheriff's deputies after they found him passed out at the back of Forest Assembly of God Church, 17530 E. State Road 40, in a fenced-in area. A medication bottle was with him but was empty, according to officials.

At his first appearance on Saturday, the judge asked if he would hurt himself while in jail, and Poteat told him, "I can't promise you that."

Poteat had remained in the hospital until Friday afternoon, when he was released and transported to the jail, where he was booked in at 3:06 p.m., according to jail records.

The incident leading to his arrest unfolded at 11:40 p.m. Tuesday, when a sheriff's deputy received a call about a possible sexual battery in Silver Springs.

A 14-year-old boy reported that he saw Poteat sexually assaulting his sister. The teen said Poteat has locked him in his room at nights for roughly six months, and bolted the windows for about a year to prevent him from going out at night.

The boy reportedly retrieved a cell phone and taped a portion of the abuse. After taping the encounter, he said he ran to a friend's home and called 911.

Officials were told the alleged victim's mother came home and ordered Poteat to leave. The man took his belongings, including medication, and left.

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