The victim of a brutal rape, robbery, and kidnapping in the Belmont area detailed how she befriended her attacker to survive. She shared her story in front of a judge, attorneys, and the man accused of those crimes at a preliminary hearing.
"I was trying to build trust and make him believe I was his friend," the woman said on Tuesday. "That I wanted to do things during that week with him. And he believed it."
It's a strategy strikingly similar to a 2004 case out of Wilson County.
"I knew I couldn’t do anything but use what God gave me, which was me, my personality," said Betty Hand. "I did befriend him."
Hand was working as a convenience store clerk in Wilson County when a man forced her to into a car at gunpoint and held her hostage in the woods for more than 20 hours.
"I let him believe that I was his best friend,' Hand said. "That’s the only thing that saved my life."
Hand said she asked her attacker about his friends, family, and history.
"He didn’t talk very much about his family. I knew he had a brother and his father treated his brother differently. I knew he had a child," Hand said. "I knew I wanted to live."
Hand said she also has a message for the 25-year-old woman whose case has just gotten started.
"She did the right thing. Never think she didn’t do the right thing," Hand said. "She survived, and that’s what it is. It’s survival."