Fayette County News

Fayette County


Dumas convicted again in rape of woman with Down Syndrome

A Fayette County jury on Tuesday found Clayton County resident William Jeffrey Dumas guilty of raping a 24-year-old Fayette County woman with Down Syndrome in October 2010.
Dumas was charged with Aggravated Sodomy and two counts of Rape, but the jury only chose to convict Dumas on the last of the three counts. Dumas was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson to 25 years in prison, followed by life on probation.
This case was originally tried in 2012, when a jury that September found Dumas guilty on the Aggravated Sodomy charge and both Rape charges. Although a Probation Department pre-sentencing investigation resulted in a recommended 75 years to serve (25 per count) and life on probation, Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Christopher McFadden, who had been recommended by Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards to try the Dumas case in Fayette County Superior Court as a visiting judge, decided instead to sentence Dumas to only 25 years plus life on probation, which is the minimum sentence allowed by law in this kind of case.
Following that first conviction and sentencing, Dumas’ attorneys filed for a new trial, and Judge McFadden granted it, not based on arguments brought up at the new trial hearing, apparently, but because the judge said he believed the victim didn’t act like a rape victim and Dumas didn’t act like a rapist. When the judge initially ordered the new trial, court records show he intended to again preside over the case.
Records indicate that the Dumas rape case was Judge McFadden’s first-ever superior court trial case.
The Fayette County District Attorney’s office protested having Judge McFadden remain on the case, which had originally been assigned to Judge Edwards, and eventually the case was assigned to Superior Court Judge Hankinson.
Tuesday afternoon, District Attorney Scott Ballard asked Judge Hankinson to sentence Dumas to life in prison based on his assertion that Dumas was found to be lying to the jury during his testimony, but Ballard said he is pleased at any rate that Dumas is going back to prison.
“I’m very pleased,” Ballard said. “Everyone in this office worked hard on this for a long time.”
The victim’s family said they were pleased to have gotten a second conviction and that Dumas is going back to prison.
Dumas’ attorneys indicated to Judge Hankinson they would be appealing the conviction again.

By Danny Harrison

Danny Harrison, a 1992 Fayette High School graduate, began his journalism career with Fayette County News in 1995. After taking several leaves of absence to pursue journalism and Christian ministry opportunities, including a few out of state and overseas, he returned full-time to Fayette County News in August 2014. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry in 2009 while serving as a missionary journalist in England and Western Europe.