Defendant brutally beat and raped the victim after encountering her along an Atlanta street

Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the RAPE conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of 54-year-old DANA STERLING.

On May 16, 2007, the 31-year-old female victim, in this case, was walking along Jonesboro Road in Atlanta when Dana Sterling, who was 41-years-old at the time, approached her and asked for a crack pipe. The victim said no, and the defendant grabbed her from behind and placed her in a chokehold. Sterling dragged the victim to a group of bushes nearby.

Sterling then told the victim that he would kill her if she did not do as he said. At that point, Sterling removed the victim’s clothing and raped her. Sterling proceeded to force his penis into the victim’s mouth and anus. Sterling then punched the victim with closed fists while he threatened to kill her. Following this series of events, Sterling dragged the victim to the outside of a nearby church where he proceeded to rape her again and beat her with a chain. When Sterling was finished, he fled the scene. The 31-year-old victim was left naked and alone. Someone who was walking nearby spotted the victim and called police.

The victim was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where she underwent a sexual assault examination. The victim’s injuries were so severe she could not speak clearly, and she was unable to identify her attacker. The woman sustained injuries to her jaw, eyes, shoulders, and neck. This sexual assault kit was transported to the Atlanta Police Department. In 2016, the State of Georgia enacted a law that required all law enforcement agencies to submit previously untested rape kits to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for examination. This kit was tested, and it was determined that Dana Sterling was the DNA match. Sterling was later arrested.

Sterling has 32 prior arrests and (8) eight prior convictions. Four of the convictions were in Fulton County. Sterling was also convicted of crimes in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida between 1982 and 2004. Sterling was previously convicted of Unauthorized Use of Vehicle, Vehicle Theft, Burglary, Entering Auto, Possession of Stolen Goods, Theft by Receiving, and Forgery.

STERLING was convicted of RAPE, AGGRAVATED SODOMY, TERRORISTIC THREATS, KIDNAPPING, and AGGRAVATED ASSAULT.  

STERLING will be sentenced
on March 9, 2020.

Judge Constance Russell, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Assistant District Attorney Siri Patel led the prosecution of the case. She was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Tasha Pennant, Investigator Paula Duprey, and Victim-Witness Advocate LaVert Forrest of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Investigator G. Payne from the Atlanta Police Department was the lead investigator in this case.