Police: Delhi Twp Rape victims spent time at Knotty Pine Bar - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Police: Sexual assault victims spent time at same bar


Delhi Township police say a suspect in an early Saturday morning rape on Hickory Lake Drive may be the same man who was involved in an attempted rape on Foley Road last spring.

"We're not sure that its the same person but it is the possibility so we're also looking at that," said Delhi Township police Detective Adam Cox.

Police say both of the victims also spent part of their evenings at the Knotty Pine Bar on Cheviot Road in Colerain Township.

"We have a huge crowd on the weekends. We have a lot of security. Every door has security on it," said Knotty Pine owner, Gary Weddle. "We monitor the people. A lot of the people we walk to their cars."

The victim in the September assault made a stop at a gas station after leaving the bar. The April victim was at the bar, left and went to a drug store, then returned. 

Police say they have no proof that the victim's were followed by someone who was present at the bar, but they are releasing the name of the bar in the interest of public safety.

"It's a family owned establishment and we're not going to tolerate anybody coming in and targeting our women, or if there's anything we can do to stop it, believe me, we're going to do that," said Weddle.

Cox said other similarities included mannerisms, some of the things that the victim said, motive and proximity.

A woman reported that she was robbed and raped at gunpoint in Delhi Township early Saturday morning. Officers arrived at the 1100 block of Hickory Lake Drive where the victim explained the events.

The woman told police she had just arrived home and was sitting on her back deck when a white male in his twenties, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a dark colored bandana approached her. The suspect first robbed the victim at gunpoint, and proceeded to rape her while still outside of her home. He then forced her to walk away from him towards a wooded area behind the residence while he fled.  The victim heard the suspect leave the scene with an altered exhaust.

"She's doing tremendously well," said Cox of the 46-year-old victim. "I'm very impressed at how strong she is and how she's been able to cope with this."

Police believe that the suspect followed the victim home, and was not lurking in the neighborhood looking for a victim. The picture released is a composite sketch of the suspect.

The owner of the Knotty Pine Bar, Gary Weddle, says he is offering a $3,000 reward to find the rape suspect. Anyone who may have seen a suspicious person or vehicle in the Hickory Lake subdivision is asked to call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040 or Delhi Police at 513-922-0060.

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