COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – On a sunny, warm February day, as crowds of people walk by, 100 East Broad Street seems the farthest thing from a crime scene.
On Monday, the man charged with raping an employee inside the Chase Bank building in downtown Columbus appeared in Franklin County Municipal Court.
According to court records, Billy D. Anderson, 31, had just been released from prison last Wednesday, Feb. 17. On the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 19, police said, Anderson went to the Chase Bank to reactive an old bank account.
He now faces felony charges of rape, kidnapping and robbery, accused of sexually assaulting a female employee inside the bank’s safety deposit box vault.
A manager at the bank can be heard in a 911 call obtained by NBC4, telling the operator, “He raped an employee of mine.”
In court, prosecutors said Anderson held the victim in the vault and choked her before sexually assaulting her.
“Today, Mr. Anderson denies those allegations and we are asking for a reasonable bond to be set,” his defense attorney said.
A judge set Anderson’s bond at $1.5 million.
Ohio’s Department of Rehabilitation and Correction declined both an on-camera interview and a phone interview with NBC4 but said they would answer questions via email.
JoEllen Smith, a spokesperson for the department, confirmed that Anderson had been released Wednesday after a four-year sentence and was supposed to be under post release control supervision for three years.
Anderson served his time for abduction and attempted robbery.
In an emailed statement, Smith wrote, “The offender was required to report to the halfway house upon his release from prison and to his Parole Officer the next day, however that did not occur. His Parole Officer visited the halfway house where the offender was assigned on Thursday evening and learned the offender did not report to the halfway house. Specifics of his supervision would have been determined during the initial meeting with the Parole Officer.”
Smith said the department’s policy in a case such as this is to assign the case to a supervisor who then makes an effort to track down the absconder. In this case, she said the alleged crimes took place before that could happen.
Smith said Anderson could face charges for violating parole but that wouldn’t be decided until after the new charges are resolved.
Anderson’s preliminary hearing has been set for March 1 at 9 a.m.