Police investigating alleged rape at Riverfront Park - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police investigating alleged rape at Riverfront Park

Alleged rape suspect booked into Spokane County Jail Alleged rape suspect booked into Spokane County Jail

SPOKANE, Wash. - New information on a Spokane Police investigation of an apparent rape that occurred in broad daylight at Riverfront Park around 1:46 Saturday afternoon. 

Police took one man into custody and charged him with second degree rape after the alleged assault.  Police said the incident was witnessed by hundreds of people many of whom were children.

Police identified the suspect as a transient panhandler initially reported to be in his 60s.  He is said to be 53-year-old Terry L. Thomas, and is well known to police.  The apparent victim, a female who is in her 20s, was taken to a local Spokane hospital after the alleged assault.  Police said the victim has a local Spokane address.

The victim told police she had just met Thomas and was drinking alcohol with him and another unknown male in the park.  After the other male left the area Thomas reportedly attacked the woman and forced her to receive oral sex.  Witnesses reported seeing her struggle and attempt to get away from the Thomas several times.  Police said both Thomas and the victim were drunk at the time of the attack but witnesses heard her telling Thomas "no" and to stop.

The initial call to police came in as two people having sex behind some bushes near the Howard St. Bridge.  When Riverfront Park Security responded Thomas was uncooperative and combative.  Spokane Police were called in and Thomas began to fight with responding officers before being taken into custody.

Police said that after talking to witnesses and the female victim they are sure this was a rape and not a consensual act.

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