Suspect in April sexual assault on I-59 arrested in Georgia

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A 21-year-old Jackson, Mississippi, native is behind bars in Georgia in connection with an April 23, 2014 sexual assault on Interstate 59 in Birmingham.

Malachi Josephus Moody is charged with first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy. He’s being held in Georgia and will be extradited to Alabama.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Randy Christian says the sexual assault took place around 10 a.m. on Interstate 59 near mile marker 117.

Christian says a 34-year-old woman reported that her car broke down.

Moody, who was driving a white van, stopped and offered to help the woman.

He looked under the hood, determined her car needed oil and offered to drive her to a store.

The woman believed Moody was merely a Good Samaritan and took him up on his offer, according to Christian.

She was taken to three Fairfield gas stations, Christian says, and then back to her car.

Moody then slapped her, sexually assaulted her, took her money, cell phone and left her on the side of the road.

Christian says a passing motorist stopped after the incident and alerted authorities.

Detectives with the sheriff’s office received leads from Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, which led to information that a man matching Moody’s description robbed a woman in Byram, Mississippi on April 22 and stole a white church van in Jackson.

Christians says Moody drove to the Atlanta area after the attack, robbed another victim and led police on a chase before he was captured.

“This suspect’s crime spree of targeting women has ended. Our detectives worked literally around the clock to get this case solved, and I am very proud of their determination and tenacity in getting justice for our victim here in Jefferson County,” said Sheriff Mike Hale. “I think it takes a real coward to pretend to be a Good Samaritan and then attack a woman after she trusted he was there to help. This predator should be locked up for a long time if not forever and we will be a safer place for it.”

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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