Group of women held hostage, raped in Austin apartment

Christopher Jaramillo, left, and Demetri Rogers (Austin Police Department Photo)
Christopher Jaramillo, left, and Demetri Rogers (Austin Police Department Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — “I don’t have words for it,” Chief of Police Brian Manley said about the brutal rape of four women in a southeast Austin apartment.

Five women visiting from out of town made plans to buy marijuana at the apartment, but were held at gunpoint and forced to undress in what the chief called an “extremely significant” incident. One of the suspects involved remains on the run.

Chief Manley said while the women are officially listed in the police affidavit as victims, they are survivors. “They survived a horrific encounter with some extremely violent offenders. They got through that encounter and they had the wherewithal to get in touch with the police and give us enough information and detailed information to allow us to be in the position that we’re in today.”

At around 5:15 a.m. on Friday, June 16, Austin police received a 911 call from one of the victims — calling from the Super 8 Motel at 5526 N. Interstate 35 — saying there was an armed robbery in progress.

She was able to escape and call police, telling the 911 call-taker that her friend bought marijuana from one of the suspects. The victim went on to tell officers that they met the suspects in the 2100 block of Burton Drive and that the suspects then took the women back to the Super 8.

The suspects allegedly told the 911 caller that they were holding her friends hostage and wanted all their money and jewelry. The woman who called 911 told police she had met with one of the suspects before, identified by police as Emmanuel Grear, 20, at a gas station a few days prior.

She said she approached Grear at the gas station and asked him where she could buy drugs in Austin. They exchanged phone numbers. At around 1 a.m. on June 16, the woman called Grear and asked to buy drugs.

When the five women went to the Burton Drive location, Christopher Jaramillo, 19, opened the door with his face covered, according to an affidavit. One of the women told him she was there to buy marijuana and Jaramillo told her to come inside, directing her to a dark bedroom. When she entered, police say Grear came from behind the door with a small handgun and said something to the effect of, “I guess you can tell that you’re not getting weed.”

According to court documents, both men then zip-tied the woman and raped her. Police say Grear used the victim’s phone to text another woman to come inside the apartment.

When the second woman came into the apartment, Grear — now wearing a shirt that had “police” written on it — pointed a gun at her and demanded money, police say. Grear then allegedly forced the second woman to take off her clothes before he sexually assaulted her as well.

Grear is accused of using the second woman’s phone to get the remaining three women into the apartment, then, once they were inside, forced them to remove their clothes at gunpoint. Two of these three women were then raped by the suspects, Chief Manley said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Police say the suspects demanded information from the women so they could rob other drug dealers. When a third suspect, 23-year-old Demetri Rogers, joined the search of the women’s phones for information they could use, officers say the suspects grew angry when they couldn’t find what they were looking for, threatening to kill the victims.

Rogers is accused of then sexually assaulting one of the women as Grear allegedly pointed a gun at the woman’s head and put a knife to her throat. Court documents show Grear told one of the women he would kill her as he had killed someone before. He pulled out a green card and claimed to be from Africa, police say.

During the repeated threats and assaults, the suspects snorted lines of cocaine, according to court documents.

Rogers and a fourth, unidentified man took one of the women back to the Super 8 Motel to go through the women’s belongings. It was then that she was able to break away and call 911, which was captured on surveillance video.

Officers arriving at the apartment on Burton Drive saw a vehicle speed away. They later tracked the vehicle to another address on McMillian Drive in north Austin where they arrested Jaramillo.

Jaramillo remains in the Travis County Jail with first degree felony charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated robbery. His bond has been set at $225,000.

Rogers is also being held in the Travis County Jail, on charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. His bond is set at $150,000. Police are currently searching for Grear, who is described as being very mobile since the incident. Anyone who knows his location should call police. Officials are not releasing a photo or mugshot of Grear because it may hamper the investigation, as detectives plan to do additional photo lineups.

The investigation is ongoing and the chief says detectives are following many leads.

According to court records, Grear was accused of pistol whipping a woman during a robbery in 2015.

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