MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A convicted rapist is behind bars after Shelby County deputies say his mother made him turn himself in.
The face of 27-year-old Marquise Tillis was all over the news the night of Feb. 29. Investigators say that's what led to Tillis getting locked up.
According to Chip Washington with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, "There was such intense scrutiny out there, not only from our folks but also from the glare of the media being on him every broadcast last night, all of that put together helped to make a decision that it is best to turn yourself in and face the charges you're accused of."
It was his mother who saw his face on TV and told him to give up.
Tillis' house is about 300 feet from where his alleged victim lives, but the only way she knew him was Facebook. The 17-year-old girl says he friended her a year ago, but the two never met until Sunday night when he showed up at her door.
"He tried to approach her with sexual advances, she declined, he decided to take what he wanted instead of leaving her alone," Washington said. "He pulled a knife on her, he strangled her, to the point where she almost passed out, and he left her laying there."
Investigators say she tried to escape, running partially undressed from her home as Tillis chased her. Deputies say she and Tillis ran into a barbed wire fence; he got caught up in the wire, and she escaped.
Her family says she's still recovering from the incident.
"This kind of case always brings to light the dangers of social networking and sites like Facebook… You get online and start to have a conversation with someone you think is nice, but you never know who is behind that keyboard," warned Washington.
Tillis was arrested in 2007 for aggravated rape, and is listed as a violent sex offender by the TBI.
In this latest case he is charged with attempted rape, aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping. Tillis is due in court on March 2.