Weeks after her attack, a 17-year-old rape victim is still wondering why no one stopped to help when they saw struggling with a man on the side of the road.
The teen, whose name is being withheld to protect her identity, told the Detroit News that she was standing at a bus stop at 6:30 a.m. on October 7 when she was approached by a man with a gun.
“I thought I was about to get robbed,” she said. “He put me in a chokehold. People were driving right by. I know they seen what was happening, but nobody stopped to help.”
The man dragged the teen to his car, which was parked behind an abandoned building. Despite telling him that she was three months pregnant, the man raped her.
During her assault, the teen got a good look at her attacker. She described him as around 50, medium complexion, with salt-and-pepper hair and a long scar on his abdomen.
The victim’s mother hopes her daughter’s detailed description will lead police to the man.
“I want this man to be caught,” she said. “He raped my baby. It’s too much…”
Police are asking for the community’s help in catching the assailant, and has asked anyone with information to called the Detroit Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit at (313) 596-1950; or Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP.
According to Detective James Aude, they have several leads on the teen’s attacker. Aude believes the man will likely rape again because “h seemed very comfortable with what he was doing, as if he’d done it before.”
The teen told reporters she’s slowly recovering from her traumatic ordeal.
“I’m taking it day by day, but it’s hard,” she said. “Nobody wants to get raped. Nobody wants to be messed up for the rest of their life.”
Most of all, though, she hopes this never happens again.
“Turn him in,” she said during a press conference. “He shouldn’t be free to do this to anyone else.”
Sadly, this story is all too common for many Black women and girls who are at high risk of being sexually assaulted. According to Black Women’s Blueprint, 60% of black girls and women have experienced “coercive contact of a sexual nature” by the age of 18, and nearly 20 percent of Black women will be the victim of a rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
If you have information call the Detroit Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit at (313) 596-1950; or Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP.