The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
A Port Arthur woman is safe with family after she was reportedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man she met on Facebook.
The 19-year-old victim was at her home on Sixth Street at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 when a 34-year-old man she had become acquainted with on Facebook showed up and asked her to come out and talk, according to a press release from Port Arthur Police Department.
The female went out to talk to him and he persuaded her to get into his car then immediately drove off with the victim. The victim was transported to the Lake Jackson area and was sexually assaulted along the way.
Port Arthur Police Sgt. Scott Gaspard said the victim’s family reported her missing about 10 p.m.
Officers with PAPD field operations immediately began interviewing people and searching for the victim. Detectives joined in and by mid-morning the Lake Jackson Police Department and Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office had also joined in. A location was isolated and a suspect identified in Lake Jackson. Officers searched an empty apartment for the victim and now believe the suspect discovered the police were looking for him and the victim.
It is believed the man drove the victim to the area of the Medical Center in Houston and at approximately 2:50 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, the victim walked into Texas Children’s Hospital where she made contact with a Houston Police officer working the reception area. She immediately reported the attack to that officer.
“We are not 100 percent sure he brought her to the hospital,” Gasped said. “She was by herself when she walked into the hospital.”
A short time later the suspect was interviewed by detectives at the Lake Jackson Police Department. As of late Thursday evening, the victim was reunited with her family and the suspect is cooperating with investigators.
The victim suffered minor injuries in the attack and was treated and released from a hospital. It is believed the victim is no longer in danger.
The suspect has not been arrested at this time and is not considered a flight risk.
Gaspard said local police said the man’s family is in that area and he has a full time job hence the reason he is not considered a flight risk.
Gaspard said there are many unknowns in the case at this time and numerous unanswered questions. It is also up to the victim whether she wants to file charges on the man.
“What happens often is that they (sexual assault victims) do not wish to file, whether because of embarrassment or exposure,” he said.
The victim has spoken with an advocacy group Thursday night.
Gaspard advises people who use the Internet and sites such as Facebook to be leery about chatting with people online.
“No matter how long you’ve been talking to them, you really don’t know who they are for sure or who you’re really talking to,” he said. “It’s always, always a wise thing not to participate in those activities.”