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Teen burglary suspect charged in March rape

LAWRENCEVILLE - A teenager accused of a string of burglaries in a Stone Mountain neighborhood has been charged with the March rape of a 15-year-old girl.

Darrian Bryant, 17, was a suspect in the rape and two physical assaults when he was arrested April 3 on seven burglary charges. He was not charged with the crimes previously while DNA tests were performed.

Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department, said the DNA results and other physical evidence connected Bryant to the crimes in the Lakebrooke Run subdivision, where Bryant also lives.

Moloney said the incidents were a priority for officers.

"This was the top case for the department," he said. "They are proud about what they've done."

Harin Bhatt, who lives in the neighborhood, said he has not heard of any other burglaries since Bryant was arrested. In all, the former Parkview High School student was charged with 13 counts of burglary, two counts of battery and one count each of rape, kidnapping, aggravated battery and child molestation. He was also charged with possessing a weapon on school property and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Charles Wrinkle, Bryant's court-appointed attorney, did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment about the additional charges.

Bryant could still have more charges related to property but will not be charged with anything else as a result of crimes against people, Moloney said.

He is being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center with no bond. His attorneys waived a preliminary hearing in late April ,and Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney Kurt Martin said then that indictments were expected in the next three months.

Bhatt said he feels safer in the neighborhood since some people have been making the rounds of local streets.

But Sean Royes, who also lives on Lakebrooke Run, said he is worried that neighbors will again become complacent because Bryant was charged with many of the crimes that had plagued the area.

He said residents have made some changes but thinks a neighborhood watch program is a necessity.

"I think people are trying to make more of an effort to try to know their neighbors," he said. "They wave or say hi. They want to know who exactly lives here."

Royes said he had seen Bryant around before he was arrested and was surprised that he allegedly committed crimes against his neighbors. Royes wondered if other people might have been involved in the crimes.

"Do I feel safer? Somewhat," he said. "I'm still a little leery."

Senior Writer Camie Young contributed to this story.