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Bond hearing canceled for Norfolk man accused of rape after he is taken to hospital

Michael Ebong (1).png
Posted at 2:59 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 20:14:15-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Michael Ebong was arrested for rape from an alleged incident that happened in May.

He was supposed to have a bond hearing on Tuesday, but it was canceled. His defense attorney said he was taken to the hospital for unknown reasons.

Norfolk Police started their investigation into Ebong after two women turned up dead at his apartment nine months apart.

Police say the deaths of Kelsey Paton and Sheena West have been ruled undetermined.

While detectives were investigating the undetermined deaths, they said they discovered criminal activity unrelated to the incidents.

That criminal activity resulted in the arrest of 43-year-old Ebong.

Ebong has been charged with rape, object sexual penetration and abduction. He is not facing charges for the deaths of the two women.

Thirty-year-old Paton was found dead in a Norfolk apartment on July 11, and her family has many questions about what happened to her.

Around 9:10 a.m. that day, police were dispatched to 1200 block of Hillside Avenue for the report of an unresponsive woman.

Police and paramedics arrived, and Paton was pronounced dead at the scene.

About nine months prior on November 15, 2020, around 8:30 a.m., police responded to the same area, also for the report of an unresponsive woman.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found West, who was pronounced dead on scene.

Previously, News 3 sat down with Paton’s parents, Kathy and Billy Paton, and her sister, Erin.

Kelsey’s obituary stated that she was a social justice warrior, a force of nature and that she was beloved by many.

“I am devastated to have lost my daughter. Thirty years old, just started a new job; people loved her. She walked into a room and you knew she was there,” said Billy Paton.

“We were so opposite but so alike - it was insane,” said Erin.

The two sisters had previously lived together and loved each other dearly.

The Patons are a close family. They say they share a lot with each other.

They showed News 3 pictures of their beloved daughter. They say she was an artist, an animal lover, and was compassionate.

They all got together for a Norfolk Tides game the last night they saw her.

Her family said she went to meet up with friends at a bar at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, which is where her car was found.

They have a lot of questions about how she wound up at an apartment in Ocean View. They said she would have told her sister or a friend if she was headed out with people she didn’t know.

Her family said there are too many unanswered questions and it doesn't make sense about what happened that night.

Ebong is being held in the Norfolk City Jail; he's accused of rape but has not been charged with the deaths of the two women.

Investigators believe that narcotics played a role in both incidents; however, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the official manner and cause of death for both women.

Family members of both women said they were not drug users.

News 3 has been investigating this case and uncovered an extensive criminal history for Ebong. He has been charged with prostitution, extortion, grand larceny, assault, DUI and other charges.

Ebong was arrested in May for rape. He is also facing additional charges after an employee at a thrift store accused him of slapping her butt while she was working.

Back in 2010, a woman said he gave her a ride to his home, put his hands in her pants, and pulled a gun on her. Those charges were dismissed.

In 2013, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges.

Court documents reveal that an exotic dancer called 911 after Ebong allegedly took $160 out of her purse and wouldn’t let her leave. They state the two got into an argument and that the victim said Ebong wanted his money back if they were not going to engage in a sexual act.

Records state, “She got her purse back after he pushed her against the wall. Finally, she was able to run out of the house.”

Twice, Ebong has declined interviews with News 3 from behind bars.

Tuesday, his defense attorney said they would be issuing a statement on his behalf in the near future.