THOMASVILLE — When a man convicted of a 2019 sex crime involving a juvenile did not follow a judge's court order after being released from jail, he became the subject of a manhunt and was captured in Americus.

Dakota Levi Stewart, 20, Americus, was sentenced to six months in the Thomas County Jail and 10 years of probation after being released from jail.

He was released on a Sunday and was to report and register as a sex offender to the Thomas County Sheriff's Office and the probation office the next day.

"He failed to do so," said Capt. Tim Watkins, sheriff's office chief investigator.

It was learned Stewart was in Americus, then Perry, but he was not found in either city, Watkins said.

Meanwhile, investigators received a report from an underage female who said Stewart raped her. The alleged incident took place before the 2019 conviction, Watkins said.

Charges of rape and false imprisonment were added to other charges on Stewart.

In early June, U.S. marshals found Stewart hiding in the bathroom at his girlfriend's Americus residence, Watkins said.

The suspect was returned to the Thomas County Jail on June 4.

In addition to rape and false imprisonment, he is charged with failure to report and register as a sex offender, aggravated assault and probation violation.

In a separate case, Watkins said Thomas Lloyd Rorie, 40, Pear Street, Pavo, is charged with child molestation involving a juvenile at a Thomas County residence.

"He got the child intoxicated and touched intimate parts of the child," Watkins said.


Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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