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Man charged with raping girl, 9, in Detroit is recently paroled sex offender


Farmington Hills — A 9-year-old girl's bravery under duress likely saved her life when she bolted from a vacant house to escape her rapist, authorities said Friday.

Clad only in a blanket, the girl wandered the streets of Detroit on Sunday until a woman picked her up and got help, Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King said during a press conference at police headquarters. 

The man charged in connection with the girl's kidnapping and rape was paroled less than five months ago after spending 13 years in prison for sexually assaulting two minors, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.

Aaron McDonald, 40, of Oak Park was charged in 47th District Court with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, and one count each of kidnapping, torture and assault with intent to do great bodily harm including strangulation.

Magistrate Michael Sawicky denied bond to Aaron McDonald, who faces up to life in prison if convicted. A preliminary examination date was not set.

Katherine Hom, Aaron McDonald's attorney said of her client, "he's gainfully employed, has two children and a third child on the way. I understand the seriousness of the crimes Mr. McDonald is accused of, but I ask for a monetary bond and GPS tether."

Sawicky denied the request because of "the nature of the charges and the defendant's prior history. He was just discharged from parole on two (criminal sexual assault) offenses in May of this year."

At about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aaron McDonald allegedly lured the girl into his 2016 Jeep Renegade as she walked near 8 Mile and Grand River, King said.

The girl did not know Aaron McDonald, King said.

"He drove her to a parking lot in an unknown location," King said. "In the parking lot, McDonald attempted to sexually assault the girl. This amazing young girl realized the danger (and resisted her alleged attack.)"

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He then allegedly drove the girl to a vacant house on Beaverland Street in Detroit, "where he assaulted, strangled and bound the victim," King said.

After the assault, the girl escaped her bonds, grabbed a blanket and darted from the house, King said. A woman stopped and picked her up.

"Thank God for her," King said.

After the girl reported the incident to police, investigators in Farmington Hills and Detroit, along with the FBI, launched a manhunt and executed at least 20 search warrants. 

"Our officers all worked tirelessly on this case, and I want to assure our community that once we ID'd this suspect, he was put on 24-hour surveillance," Detroit Police Chief James White said.

Aaron McDonald was paroled from prison on May 23 after serving 13 years for two sexual assaults in May of 2004, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections website.

Karen McDonald said while the previous convictions were in Wayne County, "I looked at the case file, and those sexual assaults also involved minors," she said.

In arguing against granting bail during Friday's video arraignment, Karen McDonald said: "We have the defendant picking up a 9-year-old girl, enticing her into his vehicle, sexually assaulting her, holding her down so she could not leave, strangling her, tying her up ... but for the tenacity, courage and bravery of this child, I'm not sure she'd be alive."

ghunter@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2134

Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN