JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville man is in custody facing multiple charges including rape and strangulation of a victim known to him.

Jacky Willhoite, 29, was arrested Jan. 18 after police spoke to him regarding the allegations. He's charged with a level 3 felony for rape, level 6 felony for strangulation and a class A misdemeanor for interfering with the reporting of a crime.

Court records show that police responded to a residence around 2:30 p.m. that day, from a woman who said following a verbal altercation, Willhoite had forced himself on her sexually and strangled her, during which time she fought and bit him. She said that when she tried to call 911 afterward, he took her phone and further threatened her. She was taken to a local hospital to see a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.

The same day but several hours later, Willhoite called 911 to a report a "physical altercation" between himself and the woman and when police arrived he showed them bite marks on his arm. When investigators asked him what had happened, "he found it extremely difficult to provide his own account of what had occurred," records show.

Police asked why he hadn't reported the incident sooner, and he said that he was afraid he would go to jail if he reported it first. He was subsequently arrested and booked into Clark County jail.

Willhoite appeared in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 for an initial hearing Tuesday, where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf and bond set at $15,000 cash. He has pretrial hearings set for March 4 and June 24, with a jury trial scheduled for July 14.

Aprile Rickert is the crime and courts reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at aprile.rickert@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2115. Follow her on Twitter: @Aperoll27.

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