By Joe Johnson
Tho women reportedly were robbed at gunpoint, and one was raped as they walked home from downtown early Wednesday morning.
Both women were said by Athens-Clarke County police to be in their early 20s, and the rape victim was a recent graduate of the University of Georgia.
Police said that officers responded shortly after 2 a.m. to the area of Foundry and Strong streets regarding a reported armed robbery and sexual assault.
“Two females were approached by a subject that was brandishing a firearm,” police stated in a release. “The suspect stole various items belonging to the victims. The suspect then led one of the females to a secluded area at gunpoint, resulting in the female being sexually assaulted.”
Authorities used “several resources,” including a Georgia State Patrol helicopter, to search “a pretty substantial area," but no suspect was found, said Lt. Shaun Barnett, ACCPD’s public information officer.
Barnett said the suspect's face was concealed during the robbery and, all that is known is he was a black male.
“Detectives are working to get a description of the suspect, he said.
The investigation is ongoing and police asked for anybody who may have witnessed the incident or has any information concerning the case to contact Detective Michael Poole at email@example.com or 762-400- 7073.
Anonymous tips can also be given over the Crime Stoppers confidential tip Line at 706-705-4775.
Anyone who has been sexually assaulted or knows someone who has can contact The Cottage Sexual Assault Center and Children's Advocacy Center. The agency provides a range of free services to child and adult victims of sexual and physical abuse, including medical care, advocacy, referrals, counseling and support groups. The Cottage also maintains a 24-hour crisis and information hotline at (877) 363-1912. For more information visit www.northgeorgiacottage.org.
Informed citizens help create a safer community, so ACCPD suggests the following safety tips: When possible, use rideshares to travel to and from your destination(s). If using rideshares is not feasible, travel in groups, utilizing highly populated and well-lit areas. If you observe suspicious activity, always call 911.