Approximately three weeks ago, an 18-year-old male hiker was walking at the Highbanks Metro Park in Lewis Center, OH when he was sexually assaulted by an unknown male. The victim claimed that as he was walking, the suspect attempted to encourage him to walk off the trail north of an overlook deck area that was approximately 75 feet away. When the victim became fearful, he began moving away from the suspect, who then pushed him to the ground and assaulted him, according to NBC4.
Kevin Savage, Captain at the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters that the park was fairly crowded at the time the assault occurred, which was around 4:30 in the afternoon.
The victim told authorities that the suspect is of Indian descent, had a slight accent, and was wearing black running shorts and a white t-shirt with black vertical stripes. He also described the man as having salt-and-pepper hair, a goatee, and nearly six feet tall, thought to be middle-aged. A composite sketch of the suspect was released shortly after the attack for help with possible identification by the public.
Today, many public parks meant for enjoyment are becoming dangerous. Parks with wooded areas give predators opportunities to sexually assault hikers, runners, and those who are simply enjoying nature. However, there are also occasions on which alleged victims wrongly accuse others of sexual assault. Determining whether someone is innocent or guilty of a sex crime can be a very difficult and involved process.