Man held on $1 million bond in abuse case
URBANA — A Champaign County judge Wednesday ordered that a Champaign man accused of an ongoing physical abuse of his girlfriend be jailed in lieu of $1 million bond.
On Wednesday, Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz filed four separate felony cases against Tavaris Hunt, 24, whose last known address was in the 1100 block of North Champaign Street.
The charges allege Hunt committed multiple acts of domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery and criminal sexual assault, between late September and Tuesday, against a 20-year-old Champaign woman.
Rietz said late last week, a neighbor and friend of the woman, who has also known Hunt for more than a year, went to the Champaign Police Department to tell police about the batteries.
Rietz said the woman supplied police with video that she took on Sept. 27 using her phone, without Hunt's knowledge, that showed him yelling and berating the woman, pushing her to the floor, dragging her across the floor by her shirt, picking her up by the throat and dropping her until she appears to pass out. He is then seen picking up the woman, who is begging for him to stop, and throwing her on the floor, dragging her by the legs, kicking her, and stepping on her.
The case Rietz filed against Hunt for that contains six counts of domestic battery with a prior domestic battery conviction and one count of aggravated domestic battery.
Rietz also filed a separate case of criminal sexual assault alleging that in late October or early November, Hunt forced the woman to perform a sex act.
Another charge of domestic battery with a prior domestic battery conviction alleges that on Sept. 12, Hunt forcibly shaved the woman's head because he was upset with her for talking to other men.
Rietz said police tried to contact the woman and Hunt to talk to them about the neighbor's allegations but were unable to find either of them until Tuesday.
On that day, the 20-year-old woman came to the police department telling police that Hunt would not give her identification back to her and that after drinking, he punched her in the face, breaking her tooth. The woman showed police her damaged tooth and several other bruises from previous encounters.
Rietz said the various batteries allegedly occurred at Hunt's home on North Champaign Street.
Rietz said the concerned neighbor said she has tried for a long time to persuade the woman to leave Hunt but believes she can't or won't because of her addiction to alcohol and drugs, which Hunt supplies for her.
Judge Richard Klaus heard the probable cause to hold Hunt, including that he has five previous criminal convictions as an adult for resisting arrest and others for aggravated battery and domestic battery. Hunt is on probation for a domestic battery to the same woman that occurred in March.
Klaus appointed the Champaign County public defender's office to represent Hunt. He was told to be back in court Dec. 18.
The most serious of the charges against Hunt — criminal sexual assault — carries penalties of up to 15 years in prison upon conviction.