Local News

Authorities search for links in unsolved Fayetteville sex assaults

Posted July 19, 2010 11:19 a.m. EDT
Updated July 19, 2010 6:29 p.m. EDT

— Police are investigating a sexual assault that was reported early Saturday at an apartment complex near Morganton and Westlake roads to determine if it's linked to other sexual assaults in the Fayetteville area.

A 38-year-old woman reported that a man forced his way into her apartment in the Morganton Crest complex at about 12:50 a.m. as she slept and then sexually assaulted her.

Police said the woman tried to get a look at her attacker, but the man covered her face. After he left, she went to another apartment and called 911.

"She came to the apartment, like, really freaked out, and I was freaked out too, so I called 911 and everything," resident Cierra Bowen said.

The woman was treated at a local hospital and released.

Police said they don't know if the attack is connected to a July 6 incident that occurred about two miles away. In that case, a man kicked open the door to an apartment in the Brittany Place complex in the Montclair neighborhood and raped the woman inside. The assailant in that case also covered the victim's face.

There was no word on whether either incident is linked to a string of burglaries and sexual assaults reported in Fayetteville and Hope Mills between June 2009 and January. In each of those cases, a man broke into an apartment late at night and sexually assaulted a woman.

"At the present time, of course, it's too early to tell," said Dan Grubb, spokesman for the Fayetteville Police Department. "Our task force will absolutely look at a link there and see if there is a tie."

In some of the cases, the attacker stole money or jewelry from his victims. Police said the woman in Saturday's attack had something stolen from her apartment, but they declined to be more specific.

The Morganton Crest complex has no fencing or gates, although several other apartment complexes nearby do.

"Even though there's one way in and one way out, they should be gated or have security in the front," Bowen said.