Police impostor rape case closed in Hawkins County

Jeff Bobo • Oct 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — DNA test results contradicted an alleged rape victim’s story and she has stopped cooperating with police, prompting the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department to close a case involving a woman who claimed she was raped by a man posing as a police officer earlier this year.

Sheriff Roger Christian said Sunday that DNA samples taken from the alleged victim didn’t reveal any “foreign DNA” according to test results recently returned to his department.

Investigators attempted to contact the alleged victim about the results and found that she’d moved out of state. When his investigators attempted to contact her at her new residence, Christian said the victim refused to take their calls.

The incident was alleged to have happened on Jan. 23 between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

A 22-year-old woman told investigators that she was driving westbound on Highway 11-W at that time when a white four-door sedan resembling an unmarked police car activated a single blue dash light behind her.

The woman told police she stopped on 11-W, probably near the Marble Hall Road intersection.

She said the assailant then forced her out of the car at gunpoint, took her to the side of the highway, tore her clothing and raped her.

After the assailant drove away from the scene, the woman went to the Lakeside Market to seek help.

Christian wouldn’t state on the record if he believes the story to be bogus, although he did say certain aspects of the story don’t add up.

“I thought the location — a busy four lane highway — was a little unusual for a crime like this,” Christian said. “We received a lot of calls reporting cars that matched the description of the assailant’s vehicle that the victim gave us but when we checked them out they were all clean. We received no calls from anyone who saw them pulled over on the side of the road with the blue light on the dash and there should have been traffic coming by at that time.

“All I can say is we’ve closed the case because the victim won’t cooperate with us. If something resurfaces in the future we can reopen it.”

The report of this alleged attack on the woman raised the alert for female motorists across the region. Attacks on women by men in vehicles resembling police cars are not unprecedented.

Christian said anyone being stopped by a police officer in dark remote areas can still exercise precautions. The easiest thing to do is to slow down, flip on the right turn signal to acknowledge the officer, and proceed slowly to a public place before stopping.

“There have been instances of legitimate impostors, and some have been caught,” Christian said. “But in this incident that allegedly happened down here — we don’t have a victim cooperating with us so we’re closing the case.”

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