Man accused of raping Sunday school teacher pleads not guilty


A Texarkana man accused of raping his former Sunday school teacher in November pleaded not guilty to a long list of felony charges Tuesday in Miller County.

Vasquez Dominique Hayes, 21, appeared for arraignment Tuesday morning with Little Rock, Ark., lawyer Lawrence Walker at a hearing before Circuit Judge Carlton Jones. Hayes is facing seven felony charges in connection with a Nov. 22 pre-dawn attack of a 33-year-old woman in her Texarkana, Ark., home.

Hayes is charged with two counts of rape, each punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison; residential burglary with a deadly weapon, punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison; aggravated robbery, punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison; kidnapping with the purpose of committing rape, punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison; theft of property under $25,000 but over $5,000, punishable by three to ten years and a fine up to $10,000; and theft of a debit or credit card, punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Deputy Prosecutor Connie Mitchell asked Jones to schedule a hearing to address a motion Walker recently filed to lower Hayes’ $500,000 bail. Jones set the hearing for April 19. Jones also scheduled the case for a final pretrial hearing in May and for jury selection June 20.

Hayes allegedly pushed his way into the woman’s home Nov. 22 at about 1 a.m. when she opened her door to let out her dog, according to a probable cause affidavit. The woman told investigators her attacker, who wore sunglasses, gloves and a hooded sweatshirt while he sexually assaulted her, tried to disguise his voice.

The victim told police her assailant forced her to withdraw $500 from her bank account after driving her car to an ATM. The woman called police after being dropped off in an intersection by the attacker who drove away in her sedan.

Hayes was identified as a suspect in the case through tips from the public who saw images of the woman’s attacker recorded at the ATM. After seeing Hayes’ picture following his arrest, the woman realized he had been a member of a Sunday school class she taught years before.

In addition to the motion for a bond reduction, Walker has also filed a motion asking to suppress statements Hayes made to police.

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