Saturday, July 22, 2006

Northeast Times: Rape Victim Joins Search For Justice

Northeast Times documents victim's resolve.

The victim of an attempted rape joined community activists on Friday night to hand out fliers featuring a sketch of the suspect.

The crowd gathered at the Frankford Transportation Center, not too far from where the incident occurred at Frankford Avenue and Benner Street.

The 18-year-old victim was waiting for a bus to take her to her Torresdale-area home at about 12:30 a.m. on May 16. That’s when a young man pressed a sharp object into her back — he told her it was a knife — and forced her to the rear alley of a house on the 6000 block of Frankford Ave.

The young woman remained calm, falsely telling her attacker she had herpes and fighting him off as he attempted to remove her clothes. The man ran away when a neighbor hollered from a second-floor window.

The victim described the man as a dark-skinned white man or a Hispanic. He was about 19 years old, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 7 inches tall, 150 to 175 pounds, with a heavy build.

He had short dark brown hair cut in a buzz, though he might have since dyed his hair blond. He had a chubby face and was wearing a white T-shirt with a black T-shirt around his neck and baggy long blue jeans cuffed at the bottom.

On Friday, the victim was joined by family members, Men United for a Better Philadelphia and anti-crime organizations from Tacony, Frankford, Mantua and South Philadelphia. Also joining the vigil were police officers from SEPTA and the 15th Police District and congressional candidate Raj Bhakta and his staff.

The group was hoping people who frequent the transportation center would recognize the suspect.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the police special victims unit at 215-685-3251 (3252, 3265).


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