Teen rape suspect seeks visitation with child

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 19-year-old Helena man who is facing multiple felony rape charges is asking to be granted supervised visitation with his 4-month-old child, while the charges against him have been bound over to a grand jury for consideration.

Woods

Woods

Sam Woods III, who lists an address on Old Cahaba Trace in Helena, was released from jail on Sept. 21 after posting bonds totaling $30,000.

Woods had been incarcerated in the county jail since he was arrested on June 28 on two second-degree rape charges brought against him by the Alabaster Police Department.

When he was arrested on June 28, it marked the third time he had been arrested on rape charges in a two-week period. The Alabaster Police Department previously brought a second-degree rape charge against Woods on June 17, and the Helena Police Department brought a second-degree rape charge against him on June 25.

In all four cases, Woods allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a female victim who was between the age of 12 and 16 while Woods was “16 years or older and at least two years older” than the victim, according to his arrest warrants.

He has been accused of engaging in these acts on June 6, 2015, September 2015, April 17 and April 20.

Woods originally was being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $60,000, but he was released from jail on bonds totaling $30,000 in late September through an agreement between prosecutors and defense attorneys.

On Oct. 24, Woods, through his attorneys, filed a motion to amend his bond conditions to allow him to have supervised visitation with the victim and his child.

“The alleged victim is the mother of the defendant’s only child, and wishes for the defendant to participate in doctor’s appointments, visitation and bonding time with the minor child, who is approximately 4 months old,” read the motion.

If the visitation is granted, it must happen under the supervision of the victim’s mother, Woods’ parents or both, according to the motion.

“Both the victim and the defendant desire for the bond restriction to be amended to allow the defendant the aforementioned supervised contact so that he may actively participate and interact with the infant,” read the motion.

As of Nov. 1, no ruling had been made on Woods’ request.