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Woman raped and stabbed

July 08, 2005|by CANDICE BOSLEY

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A Martinsburg woman was raped repeatedly and stabbed 29 times last weekend after a man got into her unlocked car at a stop sign and forced her to drive to a secluded area, according to police.

Police are asking for the public's help in finding the man, said Cpl. Willie Johnson of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

The attack began around 9:30 p.m. last Friday, when the victim was stopped at a stop sign on Mt. Olive Road, at the intersection of W.Va. 9 east of Martinsburg, Johnson said.

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The man, whom the woman said she had never seen before, opened her unlocked passenger door, punched her in the face and told her to turn right onto W.Va. 9, police said.

He told her to drive to a field by the Opequon Creek bridge, across the street from a campground. The area is about a mile from where the man got into the woman's blue passenger car, police said.

The man threatened the woman and stabbed her 29 times on her sides and her right hip with a blunt object when the woman tried to make her attacker stop, Johnson said.

Johnson declined to identify the weapon, but said it was sharp enough to cut through the woman's clothes and her skin, but was not dangerous enough to cause life-threatening injuries.

The woman said she was not sure exactly what time the rape happened, but said she blacked out after the man ran away from the site on foot, leaving her and her car behind.

She said she woke around 6 a.m. Saturday and drove herself to City Hospital, where a hospital employee notified police.

After being released from the hospital, the woman sat down with police to help put together a composite sketch of the man who raped her, who appeared to be 30 to 35 years old. She said the sketch she helped to produce depicts the man as he would have appeared when he was younger, Johnson said.

Police tried to make the sketch depict the man as being older, but the victim said she was more pleased with the original, Johnson said.

The assailant is described as a dark-skinned black man, about 6 feet tall and weighing around 180 pounds. He was wearing a white tank top shirt and blue jean shorts with a belt.

Deputy Calvin Wilmer is the lead investigator.

Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith said he did not release the information sooner because deputies have been busy handling a number of calls from the holiday weekend, including an unrelated case involving two men found dead inside a motel room.

Smith urged people to lock their car doors at all times, saying this is not the first time a stranger has tried to get into or gotten into someone's unlocked car while the driver was stopped.

Anyone with information may call the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department at 304-267-7000 or the anonymous Crime Solvers line at 304-267-4999.

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