The Statesboro Police Department reports that a man facing multiple charges for allegedly raping a stranger at knifepoint at a laundromat last Wednesday turned himself in at the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office on Monday.
Paul Houston, 50, of Dodd Circle in Statesboro, was booked at the Bulloch County Jail after 11 a.m. Monday on charges of rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a felony. The Statesboro Police Department is pursuing two counts of each of these charges against Houston, the department's news release indicated.
But there was one victim, an adult woman, police said. A sexual assault at the laundromat named Coin Laundry was reported at about 2:20 a.m. June 7, according to the release posted Monday by SPD Information Specialist Madison Bridges. Coin Laundry is on Northside Drive West.
The victim did not know her assailant, according to Bridges and Chief of Police Mike Broadhead.
"It was a stranger attack," Bridges said. "It was not any sort of date rape. They didn't meet or know each other or anything."
The kidnapping charges result from the assailant "at knifepoint" forcing the victim to move from inside the laundromat to another location on the property, where he raped her, Bridges said.
"He moved her on two different occasions during the overall assault and specifically assaulted her two different times, and so that's the reason for the two charges," Broadhead explained.
Police also specified the aggravated assault charges as aggravated assault with a knife.
The victim was transported to East Georgia Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment, Bridges reported.
Through investigation by the SPD's Criminal Investigations Bureau, Houston was identified as the primary suspect, and detectives obtained warrants for his arrest. The Bulloch County Sheriff's Office also assisted in the investigation, Statesboro police noted.
Asked an approximate age of the victim, Broadhead would state only that she is an adult female. The newspaper did not receive the original incident report and became aware of the crime with Monday's arrest announcement, which stated that Houston turned himself in and was arrested without further incident.
"We had a warrant for him and had put the word out on the street that we were looking for him, and that word got back to him and then he surrendered himself," Broadhead said. "So this is something that, if we can put a quick shout out to the community, it really was through their help that he was convinced to give himself up."
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.