Leader Blues

Thursday, December 14, 2006

FROM THE PUBLISHER >>Rape victim in Lonoke recalls her nightmare

One of Joe Rounsaville’s three rape victims was crying as she recalled her attacker menacing her in her home in Lonoke. “The only thing I could relate him to is Charles Manson with his cold eyes,” the tearful rape victim told us before her attacker was to appear in Lonoke County Circuit Court. Rounsaville, a former Jacksonville realtor who is serving 10 years for rape, kidnapping and third-degree assault in another case, was a no-show Monday morning in Lonoke County Circuit Court on the latest charges against him. Rounsaville had been transferred from the Pulaski County Detention Center to the state Correction Department, according to Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney Lona McCastlain for the earlier rape.

Rounsaville will be arraigned for the Lonoke rape Jan. 16 instead, she said. Those two cases are in addition to a third rape charge involving a boy. Rounsaville was charged last month with the rape of a 7-year-old Jacksonville boy. He has pled not guilty, and his trial is set for March 8, 2008.

In the incident involving the young boy, the boy’s mother came forward after seeing articles of Rounsaville’s rape conviction in the Leader. She said Rounsaville sexually assaulted her son in November 2003. Rounsaville was sentenced in late September for the December 2005 rape and beating of a 51-year-old Jacksonville woman. “He knows a girlfriend of mine,” the Lonoke rape victim told us. “He’d assaulted her boy.”

If he’s convicted in all three cases, the three-strikes-and-you’re-out-rule will likely apply and Rounsaville will face life in prison without a possibility of parole. As for the rape, kidnapping and terroristic threatening charges in Lonoke County, his victim came forward and told of her nightmarish encounter with Rounsaville, who barged into her house, attacked and raped her and threatened to kill her if she told anybody about what happened. Rounsaville is accused of attacking her like a madman, then threatening to kill her if she told anybody what had happened.

“I’m your master,” his victim said he told her. “You’re going to call me this.” She has long hair, and he tied her hair around her neck, nearly choking her. “He threatened to slit my throat,” she continued. “He put his knee against my back and tried to gag me with his sock. I told him you’re hurting me.” She’d been in a car wreck, and her leg was in a cast, and that made it more difficult to defend herself. “I said my son was going to be home any minute,” the victim continued.

He teenaged son soon returned to the house and chased Rounsaville off. “In 15 minutes it was over,” she said, “but when you’re fighting for your life, every minute is like an hour.” “If I didn’t go to church on Sunday, I’d say I wish he was dead,” she told us. “I have a great pastor who has helped me through.” She’s moved out of her house, but she now has a rifle at her bedside to defend herself against intruders.

“My father gave me a rifle and it’s loaded, and I was going to use it if he came back. I put the gun right by bed.” “He took advantage of every inch of my life, but I can’t wait to see him in court so I can confront him,” she said. “It’s my turn now.”