2012-09-24 / Front Page

Cherokee, Spartanburg authorities seek leads in sexual assault cases

By TIM GULLA Ledger Staff Writer tim@gaffneyledger.com

The investigation of a reported sexual assault that occurred last Monday in Cherokee County has crossed county lines as local investigators have been working with Spartanburg County investigators to see if a similar crime in Spartanburg is related.

Last Monday at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reported, a woman was sexually assaulted at her Seminole Trail home after an unknown man came to her residence and asked to use the telephone. The subject then forced his way into the home with a handgun and sexually assaulted the woman, according to the sheriff’s office.

The subject is described as a black male wearing black shorts with green writing and a white T-shirt. The man reportedly left the scene in a newer model light-colored vehicle, possibly silver, grey or light blue.

While there were no new leads he could report Sunday, Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller confirmed that his investigators personally met three times with Spartanburg County investigators last week regarding a similar case that occurred in Spartanburg in August.

Beyond personal meetings, he said of the collaboration, “I can’t tell you how many times they’ve shared information back and forth on the telephone.”

Mueller confirmed that officials also are comparing notes on a more recent incident that occurred Thursday on Boiling Springs Highway in Spartanburg. During that incident, a man allegedly tried to abduct a woman who was standing outside a restaurant.

In all three instances, the physical descriptions regarding the general height and weight of the attacker was similar.

Mueller said his investigators still are waiting on test results for evidence that has been collected in the local case.

In the meantime, he said, residents are being asked to act with an abundance of caution if anyone knocks on their door uninvited. Don’t open your door to unknown persons, the sheriff said. Instead, contact law enforcement if you don’t recognize any uninvited guests or to verify the identity of strangers in the community.

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