Downtown Indy assault suspect has first day in court

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A 25-year-old accused of attacking two women in downtown Indianapolis had his first day in court Wednesday.

Anthony Jones is facing charges for the alleged assaults, which happened just hours apart last week.

Indiana Department of Corrections confirm Jones was released May 12 from one of their facilities, after serving almost 2.5 years for robbery, carjacking and illegal handgun possession charges.

Even before that, Jones had many run-ins with police before this latest case. A string of drug possession, intimidation, battery and more illegal handgun possession charges line his case history.

That criminal history is why prosecutor Ryan Mears is working now to get Jones’ $150,000 bond revoked, which would leave Jones in jail until his trial.

“We’re obviously concerned when you have innocent victims in a very public place essentially during the middle of the day,” said Mears. “People should be able to feel safe to go out to their cars to come to and from work.”

Local sexual assault victims advocate Aly Austin says victims should also feel safe enough to report the incidents when they happen like the two victims did here. But often, that doesn’t happen.

“There are a lot of reasons why victims don’t report,” said Austin, who works with Families First. “Being afraid of retaliation from the perpetrator and any family of friends of that person is scary. Being fearful of the case not, you know, moving forward.”

While Austin believes it’s entirely up to the victims to decide whether to report, she hopes seeing Jones facing nine felony and four misdemeanor charges for the crimes, could help victims of similar assaults.

“They feel like they’re not alone in that case,” said Austin.

Hearing the details of the crime too, she believes, could help some come forward who have felt being inappropriately touched doesn’t qualify as “sexual assault.”

“They don’t feel like that’s enough to report when it’s simple as consent is two people, engaging in any type of sexual activity or behavior,” said Austin. “If one person says no, if someone pushes that person away, or if someone isn’t enthusiastically saying yes or wanting it, those are all identified as sexual assaults.”

Any unwanted sexual touching is sexual assault and Austin wants victims to understand that.

In Jones’ case, he’s accused of groping one woman in an apartment building elevator and robbing, sexually assaulting and strangling another in the garage across the street just a couple hours later.

Court documents show there are no surveillance cameras inside the Denison garage on New Jersey Street or along Market or East streets where these incidents happened.

Garage management is working to hire security guards for their space.

The owners of Artistry, Milhaus, say they only have cameras at the most common entrances, but are hosting a safety meeting with IMPD for concerned residents tonight.