A Georgia man who masqueraded as a gay man to carry out a “brutal” sexual assault of a lesbian woman nearly five years ago was convicted in Fulton County this week.
Taurence Callagain was found guilty in the 2015 rape of an Atlanta woman, who had been duped by the 36-year-old into believing he was gay. The woman, who was ambushed by Callagain in his own home, told investigators she believed her friendship with him was “strictly platonic” and was taken by surprise in the violent rape.
“The brutality and meanness of this attack is disturbing,” Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. said in a statement to Oxygen.com following the conviction.
Howard called Callagain’s actions “wicked.”
Callagain reportedly met the victim at a train station on the west side of Atlanta a number of weeks before the rape occurred. The pair rode the rails together and later exchanged numbers, officials said. The unidentified woman told detectives she was actively dating another woman at the time and that through the course of their interactions, Callagain misrepresented himself as being gay in order to gain the woman’s trust, according to prosecutors.
“Callagain led the victim to believe he was gay, so she was under the impression that their relationship was strictly platonic,” Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
The woman, who was a regular public transit user, often rode two buses and a train to get to and from work. Shortly before midnight on Sept. 6, 2015, she missed the final bus of the evening. Stranded a mile and a half from home, Callagain offered to give her a lift to her apartment in Allen Hills.
The 36-year-old first told the woman he needed to make a pitstop at his house to grab some marijuana. The two entered Callagain’s home, and later his bedroom. The woman told investigators she was under the impression they were going to smoke up together. Callagain then pounced on the unsuspecting woman and proceeded to strangle and rape her.
He warned if she fought back, screamed, or resisted in any way, he'd get his “boys to come in and hold you down,” prosecutors said.
The “terrified” woman told police she heard another male voice in the house and was convinced the 36-year-old would make good on his threat if she blocked his advances. The woman managed to escape and ran three miles to her home. She was treated at an Atlanta hospital and reported the sexual assault to authorities.
The woman accurately described the inside of Callagain’s home and her underwear was also later retrieved from the man’s laundry bin. Callagain was arrested and charged with rape, according to an indicment obtained by Oxygen.com. He claimed he was innocent and that the sex between them was consensual.
“Insult to injury occurs when he says to the police that this brutal sexual attack was consensual,” Howard, the Fulton County District Attorney, added.
During Callagain’s trial, the man maintained he was heterosexual, and denied being gay or bi-sexual.
“The defendant testified at trial that he only dated women and was never interested in men,” Chris Hopper, a spokesperson for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office told Oxygen.com.
A sentencing date hasn’t yet been set for Callagain’s case, officials said. He faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.
Callagain has a past criminal history involving domestic violence. He was charged with aggravated assault and simple battery of his girlfriend in 2016, court documents show. The case is still pending.
The man's public defender, Alissa Jones, didn’t respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment on Tuesday.
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