Judge Barry Steelman on Wednesday declined to reduce a Chattanooga man’s bond after his alleged rape victim gave a detailed account of the attack. Tremaine Lamar Anderson, 28, allegedly raped the woman in April.
Flanked by his attorney, Wendy Stanfield, Anderson had a pair of witnesses vouch for his good character in front of Judge Steelman. His grandmother let the court know Anderson is a good, hard-working, and church-going individual.
When asked about paying a reduced bond, his grandmother answered by saying, “The lowest they can lower it, we can work it out.”
Prosecutor Andrew Coyle asked the witness about her grandson’s personal and work life. When he listed Anderson’s lengthy criminal history, including disorderly conduct and domestic assault cases in the last six years, she did not seem to know about any of these charges.
“So he’s around a lot,” asked prosecutor Coyle, “but you didn’t know anything about this?”
The prosecutor also asked the grandmother about the kind of car Anderson drives, and where he worked and lived. She said Anderson works for the chicken house, but did not know what he wore to work, nor did she know what kind of car he drove.
Anderson’s girlfriend echoed many of the grandmother’s sentiments, and did not have enough good things to say about her boyfriend.
“He’s fabulous,” she said, “He’s a very hard-working gentleman. He’s crazy about his kids. He’s my man.”
When prosecutor Coyle asked what kind of clothing Anderson wears to work, she said he wears a smock and sweatpants.
Things turned for Anderson though after the last witness testified. Prosecutor Coyle called the alleged victim to testify, and she gave a tearful and detailed account of what happened.
After the bus was late, the victim was going to be late for work. At that point, she said Anderson pulled up next to the bus stop in a blue Jeep Grand Cherokee and offered to drive her to work.
She said he was wearing a green vest with silver stripes, and there was a white hard hat and green rubber gloves in the front. She said she immediately recognized the clothing and knew he worked at the chicken house. When prosecutor Coyle asked how she knew that, her answer was simple.
“I know because I used to work at the chicken house,” said the alleged victim. “I gave the chicken house 11 years of my life.”
After driving down the road, she said Anderson pulled into a secluded alleyway. He then reached behind the passenger seat and pulled out a gun.
“He told me that if I did what he wanted me to do, I’d live,” she said, “He had the gun to my head. Then I gave him oral sex.”
After Anderson was through with her, she spit out his bodily fluid along with her gum. He then drove to a nearby stop sign and allegedly told her “(Expletive), get the (expletive) out of my car.”
The victim immediately called the police and took the officers back to where she was raped. They found the gum and fluid on the ground. She also remembered the last three letters and numbers of the license plate of Anderson’s car.
Asked if she waited to show the police where she was assaulted, she told attorney Stanfield she had done so immediately.
“I immediately took them back to the scene,” the woman said, “I volunteered, because I thought if he did this to me, then he can do this to another woman too.”
After hearing this testimony, Judge Steelman made his decision.
“I find that the bonds are appropriately set,” said the judge, “and will deny the motion to reduce the bond.”
Judge Steelman did clarify two things before he ended the bond hearing. He made sure both parties realized he was not declaring Anderson to be guilty.
He also noted the court was waiting on DNA testing to be done. If new evidence came out, which contradicted what the victim claimed, then the bond amount could be revisited at a later date.