Sex Assault Investigation Continues - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/11/02 - Smith County

Sex Assault Investigation Continues

   A terrifying attack is responsible for an atmosphere of fear in an East Texas community.

   The investigation continues into a string of attack cases in Smith County. The latest happened Monday in the Gresham area. A masked man assaulted a teenager inside her home, but fled when she put up a fight.

   The victim said the perpetrator appeared to have knowledge of her daily routine.

   Forensic psychologists say its common for stalkers to track their victims' movements. Dr. Gayle Burress says in many cases, the stalker is incapable of carrying on a mature relationship and lives vicariously through women they don't know.

   "Typically, a stalker is obsessive," says psychologist Gayle Burress, Ph.D. "They may be very quiet, very unassuming. They may kind of be like wallpaper--blending into the crowd. But if you're alert and aware of your surroundings, and you start seeing the same face in lots of different contexts find out who that is."

   Three women were sexually assaulted in the same area earlier this year. Investigators say they're checking to see if any of the cases are related. DNA evidence from earlier cases has already been shipped to a forensics lab in Dallas.

   Kerri Panchuk, reporting.

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