ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has learned that a man who grabbed a teacher, dragged her into her garage and tried to rape her is now going to prison for 60 years.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was the only reporter inside the courtroom Wednesday when the victim addressed her attacker.
Showing no emotion and little remorse, convicted felon Laquai Barrett, 34, sat shackled next to his public defender as he listened to his victims deliver heart wrenching statements.
The first woman to speak, a recent graduate student, took the judge back to that horrific day in 2021 when Barrett attempted to rape her inside her Atlanta home.
She described how she fought for her life but then got extremely emotional as she described how she struggled to attend her own graduation ceremony.
“This ceremony was supposed to be a celebration of my achievement. The culmination of all the hard work and sacrifices I made to earn the degree. Instead, when my name was called, I walked across the stage with bruises underneath my graduation gown and still to this day I have anxiety from this attack,” the victim said.
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The second victim, an experienced and well-respected metro Atlanta school teacher, recounted her horrifying encounter with Barrett.
She talked about how she took her dog out for a walk in front of her gated Buckhead community. That’s when Barrett followed her inside, dragging her into her home where he attempted to rape her.
She managed to fight him off.
“It is so hard to shake the feeling of figuring for your life. I see it every night before I go to sleep, when I’m doing my daily routines, when I’m pulling in and out of my garage. Every day. But especially when I’m walking my dog,” the victim said. “What does a home mean when we have to relive these horrors every time I have to pull onto my street.”
The judge accepted the plea deal, but despite a desperate attempt by the defense, the judge agreed with prosecutors, sentencing Barrett to 60 years in prison.
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