75
      Friday
      86 / 71
      Saturday
      86 / 71
      Sunday
      85 / 72

      Police looking for man who sexually assaulted woman in her Socastee home

      Sketch of the man police are looking for in connection with the sexual assault in Socastee.

      Police need your help to track down a rapist.

      Horry County police say a man sexually assaulted a woman in Socastee home last Friday.

      Police have released a sketch of the suspect. If you think you recognize him, call Horry County police at 843-915-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.

      The suspect is described as being about 40 to 55 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 220 lbs., with gray hair and glasses.

      The victim told police she thinks he was the same man who had knocked on her door two weeks before the attack.

      He claimed he was a repairman and had been called to her home to fix something.

      "She did not get a good feeling about it, she started questioning and at that point, he decided to leave," said Horry County police Lt. Robert Kegler.

      The woman told police the man was driving a white pickup of unknown make or model with paper tags.

      When he came to her home the second time, her door was unlocked and police say he apparently walked in.

      A rape crisis counselor says the woman had the right reaction the first time the man came to her door.

      "Just to know, 'I don't recognize this person, I'm not expecting this person, this feels off.' Pay attention to your gut and your intuition," said Tina Toth of the Horry and Georgetown Counties Rape Crisis Center.

      Toth says it may be best to not open the door at all, or to ask to see an ID before letting someone in.

      Don't be afraid to be rude.

      "I think it's important that we put our needs and our safety first, before social graces with others."

      Toth advises you to keep your door locked, even when you're at home.

      This may seem like paranoia, she says, but too often victims think of what they should have done too late.

      "We figure out our response after the horrible thing has already happened, when in reality, we really need to cut it off before it ever starts," said Toth.

      Toth adds, keep a cell phone within arm's reach, even at home. If you're so inclined, maybe take a self-defense class.

      Victims of sexual assault can call the Horry-Georgetown Counties crisis line at 843-448-7273, or 1-800-656-HOPE nationwide.