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Inmate who concealed Georgia teacher’s death pleads guilty to unrelated rape charges

A man imprisoned for concealing the death of Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in two unrelated rape cases in a deal that lets him avoid additional prison time.

Houston County Superior Court records show that Bo Dukes agreed to plea deals Nov. 13 to settle charges that he had raped women in 2017 and 2019 after threatening them with weapons. Prosecutors agreed to let Dukes plead guilty to aggravated assault with intent to rape in both cases. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, while more than a dozen other counts were dismissed.


The sentences Dukes, 39, received won’t add to the 25-year prison term he is currently serving for his role in Grinstead’s death and disappearance, The plea deal was first reported by WALB-TV.

A high school teacher and former beauty queen, Grinstead vanished in 2005 from her home in rural Irwin County. Her fate remained a mystery for more than a decade until Dukes’ friend with a similar last name, Ryan Duke, told Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents that he strangled Grinstead and enlisted Dukes to help burn her body.

A jury convicted Dukes of concealing Grinstead’s death in 2019. After recanting his confession, Duke was convicted of the same charge in 2022, but acquitted of murder. Additional charges related to Grinstead’s death are still pending in a neighboring county where the men burned her body in a pecan orchard.

Dukes was also indicted in 2019 in two rape cases with no connection to Grinstead’s death and disappearance.

He was charged with raping a woman while threatening her with a knife on Jan. 19, 2017, just a few weeks before his arrest in the Grinstead case. Dukes was indicted for a second rape after two women accused him of sexually assaulting them at gunpoint on Jan. 1, 2019. Dukes was free on bond at the time, awaiting trial for hiding Grinstead’s death.

A judge last month sentenced Dukes to 10 years in prison for each reduced rape count, plus five years for illegally possessing a gun. According to court records, the plea deal allows the time Dukes serves for Grinstead’s death to also count toward those new sentences.

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