Metro-East News

Man charged with raping woman he met at MetroLink was released from jail 11 days earlier

Sorry, or not: How men accused of sexual misconduct react

Powerful men continue to be accused of sexual harassment and assaults, and have been responding by accepting, hedging or dodging the allegations.
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Powerful men continue to be accused of sexual harassment and assaults, and have been responding by accepting, hedging or dodging the allegations.

A man told a woman he knew from the Fairview Heights MetroLink station that he would take her to a salon to have her hair done. Instead, she told police, he took her to his room at the French Village Motel and sexually assaulted her. The suspect had been in jail on other charges until Dec. 7, when he was released on a recognizance bond.

Darius L. Pierce, 24, of East St. Louis, was charged Wednesday with aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, and aggravated battery by choking. The woman’s family called Fairview Heights police as they took her to the hospital after the assault on Monday, said spokesman Tim Mueller of the Fairview Heights Police Department. He said she was treated and released from the hospital.

The woman told police she left the room and called family when he fell asleep. Police said he was reportedly under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was awake when police arrived.

Pierce is in the St. Clair County Jail on $250,000 bail.

Pierce has been convicted in May of choking a family member, and is facing other charges of choking the same family member in September. He was sentenced to 26 days of time served for the misdemeanor charge in May; the September charge is a felony.

He had been in jail until Dec. 7 on that charge, when he successfully petitioned for a recognizance bond and was released. In both cases regarding the family member, he was accused of choking the woman.

Among other convictions, Pierce was convicted in 2015 of endangering a child. Court records show he was under the influence of alcohol and fell asleep with a child less than one month old in the bed. The baby died. Pierce was sentenced to two years in prison.

Reporter Mary Cooley follows the crimes and court goings-on in the metro-east; she has a special affinity for the oddities that make life in Southern Illinois interesting. Mary has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia and previously worked as a copy editor at newspapers in the Southeast.


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