Gwinnett County

Man sentenced to 30 years for raping, stabbing GA girl 86 times after meeting her on Snapchat

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — WARNING: The story contains graphic details.

A Flowery Branch man was sentenced to 30 years in prison last week in Gwinnett County for raping a teenage girl and stabbing her 86 times.

Zachary Iona, 22, pleaded guilty to rape, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, statutory rape, child molestation, and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony in Gwinnett County Superior Court.

Iona and his attorneys negotiated a plea for a life sentence of 30 years in prison, followed by five years of parole and mandatory sex offender registration.

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According to testimony presented in court, Iona met the 15-year-old victim on Snapchat in February 2022.

The girl agreed to allow Iona to visit her at a home in Hoschton, Georgia in Barrow County.

Iona arrived at the house with rolls of duct tape, rope and a knife. During the sexual assault, he stabbed her at least 86 times.

After he left, the girl was able to crawl to her phone and call for help. Police were able to identify Iona from a photo on the girl’s Snapchat.

Police searched his car and found duct tape and rope, as well as blood.

The girl had multiple surgeries and physical therapy and is now able to walk.

“This should be a warning to our young people to beware,” Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin Gatson said. “As this case demonstrates, not everyone you meet on social media has your best interest at heart.”


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