Woman alleges attack by Ohio suspect in 11 deaths

AP News
Posted: May 21, 2011 4:16 PM
Woman alleges attack by Ohio suspect in 11 deaths

Another woman has joined several who say they were attacked by a man suspected in the deaths of 11 women whose remains were found near his Cleveland home.

The 46-year-old South Carolina woman, a Cleveland native, told East Cleveland police this week that she was choked and raped by a man named "Tone" in 1988, the Plain Dealer newspaper reported Saturday. She said she begged for her life and then fled to a friend's house, wearing only socks and shoes.

She said she believes the man was Anthony Sowell, whose trial on murder and other charges is slated to start next month. Sowell has pleaded not guilty.

The woman said Friday that she didn't know her attacker but recognized Sowell when she saw him in national news reports in 2009, according to the newspaper. She said she didn't have the courage to report the crime when it happened but had brought it up twice since then _ to a court psychiatrist in 2001 during a drug rehabilitation program, and to a corrections officer at a Cleveland jail when she was arrested for a probation violation in 2009. No one followed up, she said.

She said she hopes sharing her story might encourage unknown victims to come forward. Prosecutors have sought to present trial evidence about women who say Sowell attacked them.

The Plain Dealer referred to the woman only by her nickname, Lisa. The paper said it does not report names of people who say they were raped.

An attorney for Sowell didn't immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment Saturday.


Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com