Man held on $1 million bond in abuse case

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.

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fortherecord wrote on November 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm

What a piece of trash. I hope they throw the book at him. 

rsp wrote on November 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm

This friend may well have saved her life. And the risks this friend took to help her astonishes me. 

ilpatriot wrote on November 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Not to belittle the crime....but was the person who supplied the audio video charged with eavesdropping?  The article states it was without the perps knowledge. Any good defense lawyer will have the video thrown out.

Jsmith68 wrote on November 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm

This is a common misconception. Evidence obtained by a private citizen not at the request of the government (police) is not subject to suppression even if obtained illegaly.  As long as the police did not ask her to videotape it the recording is admissible. Yes it is the states attorney discretion to charge her for taping or not. Common sense says no. 

Annie21 wrote on November 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Half of the stuff written in this article is not even true. Makes me question the rest of the articles written on here.

loweez67 wrote on November 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

I am so glad to see she is finally getting help.  What a loser to treat a human being as he did.  Not sure what part of the article is not true as someone else commented.  I know the victim and this is documented and VERY true. Hopefully this guy will get what he deserves and spend some time in prison to think about what he did.

Annie21 wrote on November 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

If you really knew the victim you would know that a lot of things in this article are not true. I bet all you heard were stories and gossip.