Cape Girardeau police investigating reported rape

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cape Girardeau police are investigating a reported rape that occurred Tuesday evening, according to Sgt. Barry Hovis, spokesman for the police department.

Southeast Missouri Hospital contacted police Tuesday night about a patient who wanted to speak with an officer about a rape, Hovis said.

The victim, in her early 20s, had said she'd gone out Tuesday with friends for drinks, and then gone back to a residence, accompanied by several other people, Hovis said.

Police did gather some possible suspect information from the victim's statement, but no charges have been filed pending further investigation, Hovis said. Investigators collected some evidence for forensic analysis at the scene of the alleged rape, he said.

Since alcohol is often in involved in sexual assault crimes, it's important to exercise caution when drinking, said Tammy Gwaltney, director of the Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence.

"Drinking does make you more susceptible to being sexually assaulted," Gwaltney said.

Gwaltney advised never setting drinks down and appointing someone who will likely remain sober to "be a second set of eyes and ears" for the night.

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