An Atlanta man accused of being a serial rapist who preyed on women for decades is headed to prison for life after a woman he raped more than a decade ago recognized him on a train platform and reported him to police, prosecutors said.
Antonio White, 54, was found guilty Monday of the brutal rape of a woman at gunpoint in 2007, according to Fulton County District Attorney. A judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The assault occurred in August of 2007, when the victim was walking home from a train station in Atlanta, and White pulled up in a car to offer her a ride, according to prosecutors. The woman, who knew White from their neighborhood, accepted, but rather than drive her home, White drove the woman to an abandoned home nearby, according to the district attorney’s office.
The woman was unable to flee the car because the door handle and window controls were missing, prosecutors said.
When White opened the door from the outside, the woman made a break for it and ran, but White chased her down while brandishing a handgun, caught up with her, and grabbed her hair, and dragged her back to the car, where he violently raped her, according to prosecutors.
“Shut up that screaming (expletive), or I’ll kill you,” White told the woman as he raped her, according to prosecutors, who left out the curse word in their statement.
White eventually let the woman leave with her life, and although she told her friends and family about the attack, people close to her told her nothing would come of reporting the crime, and she never filed a report with police, in part because she didn’t know her attacker’s real name, prosecutors said.
It wasn’t until years later on Oct. 6, 2013, when she was waiting for a train at a station in Downtown Atlanta, that she saw the man who had raped her, officials said in a statement.
Shocked and overcome, the woman immediately began screaming and accusing White of the rape more than half a decade earlier, and transit police cuffed White on the spot before turning him over to the Atlanta Police Department, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.
Police launched an investigation into White’s attack on the woman, but also began to turn up disturbing evidence that the attack fit a pattern: between 1983 and 2008, White is believed to have raped several other women in the Carver Homes and Lakewood section of Atlanta, typically approaching them on foot and leading them to a wooded or secluded area to rape them, prosecutors said.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that he had committed at least four prior rapes fitting that pattern, according to the Atlanta Constitution-Journal.
In addition, White had one prior rape conviction, along with a guilty plea to sexual battery and a robbery conviction, the district attorney’s office said. It was not immediately clear when White was convicted of those offenses, or how much time he served.
[Photo: Fulton County District Attorney]