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Accused rapist's attorney talks about cases, bail

ALBANY, Ga. -- A man accused of rape while out on bail stemming from multiple charges in connection with armed robbery is innocent, said James N. Finkelstein, an Albany defense attorney.

Finkelstein's client, Devonta Covin, 17, was arrested for rape April 6, an Albany Police Department report stated.

In response to a Thursday story on the arrest in The Herald, Finkelstein sent out a news release and spoke to a reporter Wednesday about Covin's alleged rape and the previous felony charges for which he was out on bail.

The alleged rape victim is a witness against Covin in a September 2009 armed robbery case. The first robbery trial ended in a mistrial and could be retried in May, court documents stated.

"Mr. Covin did not commit a rape and did not attempt to intimidate any witnesses," Finkelstein said.

The alleged rape victim has had consensual sexual relations with Covin in the past, Finkelstein said. She has also had sexual relations with his brother, he added.

The names of rape victims are not released or used by attorneys or The Herald. However, it has been agreed that the alleged rape victim is a witness against Covin in the robbery case by Finkelstein and Greg Edwards, district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit.

In that robbery case, Finkelstein said that Kenya Hosley, the victim, testified on Feb. 17 that Covin is "innocent of the charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, street gang terrorism, and the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony."

In response, Edwards said that the attorneys in his office dealing with the case have "issues" with the Hosley testimony. Edwards declined to elaborate on the robbery and rapes cases saying it would not be ethical as the cases remain active.

The man who was actually responsible, Covin's co-defendant Ronald Rollins, pleaded guilty to the crimes and is in prison, Finkelstein said.

"Rollins has given a recorded statement that Devonta Covin was innocent of the offense," Finkelstein said. "In fact, Covin tried to help the victim."

Finkelstein also took up the issue of Covin's first trial ending in a mistrial and his freedom on bail.

The mistrial, according to Finkelstein, came about because "the Albany Police Department failed to provide the written police report to the District Attorneys Office, which was required to turn those documents over to the defense prior to trial."

Finkelstein said he asked for a mistrial with prejudice, which means there would be no retrial. Superior Court Judge Lockette did not agree and allowed Covin out on bail.

While Edwards' office tried to have that bail revoked because of a disorderly conduct charge, Finkelstein said Lockette was correct to rule against the bail revocation motion.

"The state's witnesses, including two police officers, testified that they did not see Mr. Colvin commit the offense of disorderly conduct, but they witnessed him being the victim of disorderly conduct by a female who was cited at the scene," Finkelstein said.

Previously citing rules of judicial conduct, Lockette declined to speak about an active case.

Outlining the complexity of the cases, Finkelstein said that the alleged rape victim had used Hosley's debit card after the robbery.

The robbery trial has been scheduled for May. The rape trial has not yet been set.