Community responds to sexual assault crime spree in Jackson

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Monday, Jackson police arrested 33-year-old Avery Shontel Bankston for a string of crimes in Jackson.

Police said one victim was sitting in her vehicle at Battlefield Park when she was approached by a man on a bicycle. The suspect brandished a handgun and got inside her vehicle where she was sexually assaulted. The victim was forced to drive around a was able to escape near a gas station on Hwy 49.

The same unknown suspect then entered a house in the 100 block of Williams Avenue where he attempted to force a 71-year-old female to perform a sexual act. Instead, she was robbed at gunpoint.

Investigators said then the suspect forced a 13-year-old female to perform a sexual act.

Bankston was arrested in the 1200 block of University Boulevard while sitting in a stolen vehicle with the weapon on his lap used in all of the crimes.

A day later, across the street from where the incident took place, Leon Jones, who’s a father and a Boy Scout leader, advised people should use the buddy system. 

“Never go anywhere alone. Anything could happen. Somebody needs to be around to be able to call for help.”

Bankston has been charged with house burglary, kidnapping, convicted felon with a firearm, armed robbery of an individual, two counts of auto theft and three counts of sexual battery. 

According to Jackson police, Bankston could face additional charges.

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