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Rape Suspect's Family Disputes Charges

EAST COLUMBUS (Ben Garbarek) -- The family of a rape suspect said there is no way Ronald Ayers is the man responsible for a horrific attack.

Ayers is accused of raping a woman near a bus stop at Long Street and Ohio Avenue in East Columbus.  The victim claimed she held on to her small child throughout the attack.

His family said it's not his character to be violent toward a woman.

"Thirty-four years I've known this kid," said Kimberly Gordon, Ayers' aunt.  "I'm supposed to believe that that is my nephew's character? No. Never."

Ayers made his first court appearance on Thursday.  He's being held on $2 million and is charged with kidnapping and rape.

"He kept looking at me saying, telling me, 'Auntie, I did not do this. I did not do this.'"

The alleged victim said Ayers threatened to shoot her if she ran away.  After the attack, he then apparently walked her back to the bus stop.  That's when he allegedly told her if she talked to the police, he'd kill her.

Ayers' mother Latonya Walton said she doesn't understand why a rapist would take the time to walk his victim back to the bus stop.

"I don't believe he did that," Walton said.  "The way they're saying it (happened), I definitely don't believe that."

His family said he's been struggling every since his twin brother Donald was stabbed to death three years ago.  Ayers also suffers from bipolar disorder.

Yet his family said he was turning his life around.  He recently got his own apartment.

"He's going through some things in life," Gordon said.  "I don't think they are that serious that he would harm a woman in that manner with a child."

Now his family is waiting for the results of a blood test that could prove his innocence.

"Hopefully that will all pan out for him and he will be walking," she said.

The alleged victim picked Ayers out of a lineup of pictures.  Ayers' family said the two used to be neighbors.

 
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