Victim Responds to Sex Assault Arrest - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/25/03 - Smith County

Victim Responds to Sex Assault Arrest

   With Felix Kauffman now behind bars for a series of Tyler and Smith County sex assaults, one of his alleged victims and her family are breathing a sigh of relief.

   The Gresham teenager was attacked by a masked intruder while leaving her home in December. Fortunately, she managed to escape her assailant. The young woman learned of Kauffman's arrest Monday night and saw his face for the first time Tuesday.

   "It's a relief, more for others than myself," the teen said. "I was never fearful he would come back to my house. I was more afraid for other people, especially people my age, I didn't want anyone else attacked."

   When asked if Kauffman's description matched that of her attacker, the victim said his mustache and skin color fit the attacker's physical description.

   While she's moved on, the traumatic event is seared in her memory.

   "There are good days and bad days," she said in her South Smith County home." It has completely changed my life. I'm constantly looking over my shoulder and hearing noises."

   But tonight, the masked intruder she feared is becoming a real person -- a real person who lived just a few miles down the road with his wife.

   "I just pray for her," the teen said. "I feel so sorry for her. I know it's got to be incredibly hard and painful for her. She and her family are definitely in my prayers."

   Kerri Panchuk, reporting.

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