Archive for Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Teenager drops rape allegation

Police investigating other sexual assault reports

October 6, 2004


Lawrence Police said Tuesday they've stopped investigating an 18-year-old woman's claim that she was raped after accepting a ride in a stretch limousine outside a campus-area bar.

"The victim is no longer cooperating with law enforcement and has asked that the investigation be dropped," said Sgt. Dan Ward, a Lawrence Police spokesman.

Ward would not elaborate on the reason the girl gave or say whether police believe the alleged rape actually happened.

The woman, a high school student from Georgia who was visiting friends at Kansas University, told police one man raped her and another held her down after she got into their limousine early Sept. 5 outside The Hawk, 1340 Ohio.

She told police the men drove her a short distance, then kicked her out of the limousine at the top of the 14th Street hill.

The woman did not report the incident until she had returned to Georgia later that day. Lawrence Police contacted area limousine companies but didn't find any vehicles that could have been at the scene.

Ward also announced on Tuesday developments in two recent stranger-rape cases and said two acquaintance rapes had been reported in recent days.

  • Stranger rapes: Police have identified a suspect in the Aug. 31 rape of a 59-year-old woman in her southwest Lawrence home and are trying to find him for questioning, but they think he might have left the state.

  • Police said although there have been prominent rape cases lately, there's no overall increase this year in the number of rapes reported.Between Jan. 1 and June 30, there were 16 rapes reported citywide, compared with 45 for all of 2003 and 33 for all of 2002.Still, the department is offering the following tips to help prevent stranger and date rape.:¢ At home, use dead bolts, window locks, peepholes, timers for lights and outside security lights. Never open the door to strangers. Plan several escape routes from the home. If you come home and something looks wrong or different, do not enter.¢ On the street, go places with others, vary routes and routines, know where safe places are, stay away from bushes and parked cars, and get away fast if a situation feels wrong.¢ In and around your car, lock the doors, park near lights at night, and keep your keys in hand as you walk to the car. In case of a breakdown, stay in the locked car and ask that police be called if someone offers help.¢ Decide on your personal sexual limits. Communicate them clearly to your date partner. Be assertive.¢ Avoid alcohol and drugs. If you drink, only accept drinks from a bartender, and don't turn your back on the drink.¢ Never leave a bar or party with someone you've just met.

The woman told police she awoke about 7:30 a.m. and found a man in his 20s or 30s touching her as she lay in bed. He then raped her and left through her door, which had been unlocked, police said.

It happened south of Clinton Parkway between Iowa Street and Kasold Drive, but police wouldn't give a more precise location, citing privacy concerns for the victim.

The man was identified as a suspect during a neighborhood canvass.

"We've figured out who the people in the area canvass saw, and we believe he's involved in this," Ward said.

Police still haven't identified the man who entered a KU student's home July 14 armed with a gun and raped her. They're waiting for lab results to determine whether they have DNA evidence that could be checked against databases and linked to a suspect.

This case is not related to the rape of the 59-year-old, Ward said.

  • Acquaintance rapes: In a case released Tuesday, a 21-year-old Haskell Indian Nations University student told police a man raped her early Saturday after she met him at a party on East 19th Street and went home with him.

The woman told police she didn't know where the man lived. Police still are trying to identify him.

In another case, a 20-year-old Kansas University student told police she though she was drugged by another 20-year-old KU student as they were drinking at Fatso's, 1015 Mass., and Quinton's, 615 Mass.

The incident happened July 14 or 15 but wasn't reported until Aug. 14, Ward said. In between the night of the alleged incident and the day of the report, she went out with the man a few more times, Ward said.

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