A woman who was raped and beaten by an old acquaintance fought back, stabbing her attacker to death when he threatened to rape her 6-year-old daughter.
Deputies arrived at the woman's Cherokee County home Sunday night to find Gerald A. Lee, 38, lying dead in the backyard. The woman, whose name is being withheld because she was the victim of a sexual assault, told police Lee broke into the house wearing a ski mask and carrying a shotgun.
Capt. Ron Hunton with the Cherokee County Police said Lee beat the woman with the gun and raped her, then told her that he would move on to her daughter next. He had locked the daughter in the closet of the room where he raped the woman.
When Lee began rummaging through the woman's purse, she ran to the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife. She fought with Lee, stabbing him several times, Hunton said.
At one point, the attacker threw a pot of boiling tea from the stove on her, Hunton said.
During the fight, Lee went out the back door and then re-entered the house by breaking a window, Hunton said. The woman and Lee fought again in the living room and the hallway, where she stabbed him several more times.
Lee crawled through the house into the back yard and died.
The woman was stabbed several times during the struggle. She was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where she underwent surgery Monday and remained in serious but stable condition Tuesday, Hunton said.
The daughter was not injured.
Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison said Lee and the woman went to the same high school about 20 years ago and apparently lost touch through the years. They bumped into each other a few weeks ago.
Garrison said investigators are waiting for the results of toxicology tests that he believes could show Lee was on drugs — perhaps methamphetamine.
Ball Ground is 40 miles north of Atlanta.