The nightmare started in November 2012 for the victim, who remains unidentified due to the nature of her trauma, when her neighbor, Jasmine Simmons, of the Azul Apartments on Audelia south of I-635, broke into her home, duct taped her mouth and raped her.
Because she was able to tell police that her attacker used his teeth to tear the tape, they knew just where to find the DNA evidence to convict him.
Simmons — who prosecutors say was living with his sister at the time, was not on the lease, but who was known by management — is behind bars for the crime.
The victim and her attorney say Azul Apartments is partly accountable for the crime because they did not adequately vet their tenants.
Even though Simmons wasn’t the official renter, the management knew he lived there, lawyer Julie Pettit says, so they should have performed a background check on him.
“It made me pretty angry and I sat there and thought, ‘If he’s there,’ I wondered, ‘Who else is living there that shouldn’t be living there?’” the victim told WFAA.
If they had, they’d have found Simmons “has a long criminal history, from assaulting a police officer to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,” the station reports.
The management also assured the victim, when she moved in, that the property was safe, with 24-hour security patrol, according to Pettit.
Criminal trial evidence did show a security guard on the property the night of the crime; he spent some time chatting with the convicted rapist before the attack.
Azul does aim to fight this case in court, claiming they took proper safety measures and that one person — Simmons — is to blame for the horrific assault.