‘I just want him caught’: Woman hopes someone recognizes rape suspect

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The woman who reported being raped by a stranger at knifepoint last week says she wants her attacker brought to justice.

“It’s terrifying,” the 27-year-old woman told News 8. “Most rapes are done by a family member, a friend, a spouse, so to have a complete stranger come in and to take away something you’re not willing to give is just — I don’t know how you do that.”

She asked only to be identified by her first name, Hilary, and agreed to speak about what happened in the hopes that it helps her case and those of other victims.

“I just want him caught,” she said.

She said she was attacked around 9:30 a.m. July 20 at an apartment on Butterworth Street SW near Seward Avenue that she had rented through Airbnb. She said she thinks the attacker sneaked in while she was moving her things out.

Grand Rapids police released a composite sketch of the suspect Tuesday. As of Wednesday, no arrest had been made. The perpetrator is described as a dark-skinned black man in his 30s or 40s, around 6 feet tall and 230 pounds with an average build, with little to no facial hair. He had no noticeable scars, tattoos or piercings.

But Hilary said she she did notice something else about the man.

“I saw the look in his eyes and it was like there was no soul there,” she said.

The attack lasted only a few minutes, Hilary said. She didn’t scream or fight.

“I can’t stop this. I’m not going to stop it,” she explained. “I’m not going to try to fight somebody with a knife. I would rather come out of this alive than hurt more than I already was.”

When the attack was over, she said the man acted as if nothing had happened.

“He just finished and walked out,” Hilary said. “Casually walked down the stairs.”

Once he left, Hilary said she called a friend and waited for her to arrive.

“My first thought was not to call 911. I just wanted to be gone,” Hilary said. “I wanted out of there as fast as I possibly could.”

She went to a regularly-scheduled doctor’s appointment a short time later, where she disclosed what happened to her. She said the doctor told her to go to the hospital. Staff there made contact with police at around 6:30 p.m. the same day.

In telling her story, Hilary said she hopes it helps others understand something she feels some victims don’t:

“No one ever deserves to be taken advantage of in that way,” she said.

She said she hopes to one day face the attacker in court.

“I want you to see me,” she said. “I want you to hear my voice, see my pain, I want you to know you hurt me.”

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect is asked to call Detective Snyder at 616.456.3422 or ksnyder@grcity.us, Silent Observer at 616.774.2345 or the GRPD Facebook page.

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