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Man arrested in first-degree rape, allegedly assaulted victim while wielding axe

1 month 1 week 4 days ago Wednesday, April 17 2024 Apr 17, 2024 April 17, 2024 8:21 PM April 17, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Joseph Hayes, 24, swore that police had arrested the wrong person as he was being put into a police car and taken to the Parish Prison to be booked with first-degree rape. 

"Y'all got the wrong dude," Hayes said. "They're looking for another dude ... I didn't do that, I swear to God—and I don't swear on Jesus name no more."

Hayes was arrested by Baton Rouge Police officers Wednesday after a rash of break-ins at an apartment complex along Boulevard de Province prompted a concerned citizen to call police. When officers arrived, Hayes was spotted in one of the apartments and took off. He was later taken into custody. 

Baton Rouge Police Spokesperson Cpl. Saundra Watts said after Hayes was detained, officers linked him to a rape that was previously reported. On April 13, a woman woke up to an unknown male in her apartment holding an axe. The victim said the assailant demanded items from her home before she was sexually assaulted by him. Through investigation, officers determined Hayes was responsible. 

He was booked for first-degree rape, aggravated burglary, possession with intent to distribute Schedule II drugs and misdemeanor sexual battery.

According to parish records, Hayes was on probation at the time of his arrest. In 2018, he was arrested on a rape charge after he was accused of forcing himself on a woman who he knew. Hayes pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree battery and was sentenced to seven years in prison, which were suspended.

In 2019, Hayes was arrested for attempted murder. Documents said the charge was related to a drive-by shooting on Cristy Drive that left a juvenile hurt. Hayes pleaded guilty in 2021 to attempted aggravated battery and avoided serving any prison time. He was sentenced to 10 years, which were suspended. 

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