Rape victim ran to neighbor’s home for help

Published 11:42 am Thursday, January 3, 2013

FRANKLIN—A 55-year-old Franklin woman walking home from a New Year’s Eve church service was allegedly raped after a man held a gun to her head in hopes of robbing her.

“She had nothing but her Bible,” said Lozie Boone, who answered his door to the victim’s plea for help after the 2 a.m. assault near Armory Drive and Gardener Street. “He dragged her behind the fence (and raped her).”

Franklin police continue to look for the suspect. He is described as a black man, who was wearing light-colored pants and a plaid shirt, or possibly a plaid jacket with red in the plaid pattern.

The victim was walking home from First Baptist Church on Hall Street when she was accosted by the man, police said. The unidentified victim told police the suspect attempted to hold her up at gunpoint. She told him she had no money, and he forced her behind a home where he raped her, police said. After the alleged attack, the suspect ran.

Boone was asleep when the victim knocked at his door. He didn’t hear her and she unsuccessfully attempted to get the attention of other neighbors, Boone said.

“She came back and started beating on the walls,” the 63-year-old said. “I heard hollering and crying and ran to the door.”

“When she got to the door, she said ‘Mr. Lozie, I’ve been raped,’” he said.

Boone said the woman told her a man had followed her and passed her one time. She wished him a Happy New Year and he did the same. The victim kept walking and the man came out of nowhere, Boone said.

“He held a gun to her head and said he was going to rob her and rape her,” Boone said. “When she said she didn’t have anything but her Bible, he dragged her behind a home and raped her.”

“It’s sad, I tell you that,” Boone said. “It’s dangerous out there. He will rape again. I’m really concerned.”

Frank Davis is also concerned.

“It’s a shame (something like that happens when) you go to a Watch Night Service,” said Davis, president of the Berkley Neighborhood Watch Group. Formed two years ago after a rash of burglaries, the organization serves the area where the rape occurred.

Davis, who lives on Gardener Street, considers his neighborhood safe.

“It’s a good neighborhood with good people,” he said. “Our society today is teaching us we will rob you, we will break into your house, we will shoot you and we will assault you.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Cpl. J.B. Butts at 562-2849, Franklin Police 562-8575, or Franklin Crime Solvers at 562-8599. Information that leads to an arrest can earn the caller a reward of up to $1,000 while remaining anonymous.