Cameron Dwayne May of Biloxi has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual battery, kidnapping and aggravated assault in the alleged rape and beating of an employee at The Dominion apartments on Holcomb Boulevard.
May, originally charged with aggravated assault, was arraigned before Jackson County Circuit Judge Dale Harkey on Friday on one charge of kidnapping, one charge of sexual battery and two counts of aggravated assault.
After he announced his plea, May stood silently in shackles beside his attorney, Melvin Cooper. Harkey set a trial date of Oct. 17.
Cooper said after the arraignment he needs to review prosecutors’ evidence before he comments on the charges.
May, deemed a flight risk, is being held without bond in the Jackson County jail.
Ocean Springs police said May met the woman he is accused of beating and raping at the apartment complex office Sept. 10 when he requested a rental application. He returned a little later and came up behind the 33-year-old single mother as she sat alone, police said.
She was beaten, choked and forced to the floor, where she was sexually assaulted, police said.
Her jaw was broken in several places and her ear lacerated, police said, which accounted for one of the aggravated assault charges. The second aggravated assault charge, police said, resulted from choking her during the attack.
The sexual battery charge was added after forensic testing of evidence.
May was arrested Sept. 21 when authorities in Okaloosa County, Florida, spotted him parked outside a Destin Goodwill store, sitting in the white SUV identified from a surveillance photo.
He refused to waive extradition proceedings so a governor’s warrant was issued to force his return to Mississippi. Ocean Springs police retrieved him in October from Florida.
May told police he was a server in the food and beverage industry.
Staff writer Margaret Baker contributed to this report.