A man accused of raping and robbing women at Tacoma motels after responding to their ads on Backpage.com is being held in lieu of $5 million bail.
Anthony Antonio Hayes, 22, pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts each of first-degree rape, first-degree robbery and unlawful imprisonment, and one count of second-degree assault and felony harassment.
Court records do not list an attorney for him.
According to charging papers:
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A woman told police Nov. 23 that a man raped and robbed her at a motel in the 2100 block of South 48th Street.
She initially said she had just met the man and brought him to her room, where he pulled a razor knife and held it to her neck as he raped her. She said she met the man through a dating website, but eventually told police she was an escort, and that they’d met through Backpage.com.
The woman texted with the man to set up the meeting at the motel, she said, and once they were in the room, he pulled the knife and told her: “Be quiet, don’t say a word or I’ll kill you.”
Then he raped her, and left with her cellphone, ID, and $240.
She identified the man from surveillance footage police showed her.
Another woman told police she was attacked Jan. 9 at a motel near Tacoma Mall Boulevard and South 66th Street.
She said she was a prostitute, and that she set up a meeting that night with a man who responded to her ad on Backpage.com.
Once inside the room, he put a folding knife to her throat and said: “We can do this the easy way or hard way,” and asked where the money was.
The woman said she didn’t have any, and he started to take off her clothes. That’s when she gave him the $70 she had on her, and he proceeded to rape her, holding a knife to her stomach with one hand, and choking her with the other.
When he left, the woman told several friends she had been at the motel with, who had been waiting outside, what had happened. About 20 minutes later, the same man called one of the friends about her own Backpage.com ad, and she asked him to send her a photo of himself, which she then gave to police.
They identified the suspect as Hayes after matching the photo from one sent by police in Mississippi. Hayes was arrested in Gulfport, Mississippi, on Dec. 26, for allegedly robbing a woman at gunpoint in a hotel room, after responding to an ad on Backpage.com.
Police showed the woman attacked in November a photo montage, and she identified Hayes as her attacker.