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West Nashville neighborhood on alert after recent sexual assault

Bowling ave rapist.jpeg
Posted at 4:27 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 11:23:44-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Police Department sex crimes detectives are still pursuing leads in the investigation of Saturday's rape of a woman in her 70s.

In the neighborhood off Bowling Avenue behind Elmington Park, neighbors say they will continue to live their lives but will be looking over their shoulders.

A man matching the description was recorded by a nearby resident’s surveillance system.

Police said the rapist surprised the victim inside her home after she came in from doing yard work late Saturday morning.

She told investigators that he was in her home for at least 30 minutes. She described the rapist as white, bald, possibly in his 30s, with tattoos on his chest and hands.

She said that he carried a black backpack and wore gray-green shorts as well as a bandana over his face.

NewsChannel 5 spoke to staff over at the Sexual Assault Center who say it's important to catch the suspect before he hurts someone else.

"It's devastating. It's always devastating," said Lorraine McGuire, the vice president of development and marketing at the Sexual Assault Center. "Sometimes you think of different stories that feel more devastating than others, but they're all so sad to have somebody's life turned upside down. For them to be violated and to have their sense of safety and security taken away from them."

The clinic has helped 69 clients in the safe clinic from January to June of this year.

"And the reason why we're outside right now and not in the safe clinic during this interview is because we actually have a survivor in the clinic right now," McGuire said.

McGuire said it's why it's important that the community bands together and helps law enforcement find the suspect.

"Rapists — it’s very rarely a single-time incident. And so, this person likely will attack and it escalates, and it sounds like it potentially was violent," she said. "We do need to get this man off the streets and this is where bystander intervention comes in. We talk a lot about if you see something, say something and trust your gut too if you see somebody who fits the description just pick up the phone and call."

Anyone with information about the man is asked to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. Operators are available 24 hours a day.

She also said she understands that this story can be triggering to victims and survivors of sexual assault.

"We have a 24-hour crisis line, the number is 866-811-7473 if you are hearing this and you're triggered by this story, it either brings up something that happened to you a long time ago, or a friend or you don't know how to report something."

For more information on the services offered by the Sexual Assault Center visit its website.