CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A Cherokee County man accused of rape twice by two separate women has never been arrested or charged with a crime. Those two women said they didn’t know each other until a mutual friend said their stories sounded eerily similar. Now they’re sharing their story with the Reveal in hopes their cases, now two and three years old, move forward.
“Honestly after this happened, I did not think I’d live to be 19. This ruined my life,” said one of the women who said she was raped.
It was May 2019 when that woman, whose identity we’re protecting, went to a graduation party.
“The person who graduated... it’s his party, and he hands me a drink,” she said.
It was an open Seagram’s bottle, and she said she had between three or four sips of it before she blacked out for the rest of the night.
“I came (to the party) wearing bra and underwear under my clothes. I woke up and neither of those things were there,” she said.
It wasn’t until months after that night, the memories of what happened came flooding back to her.
“I remember being in the back of one of the boys' cars in the garage, that is completely closed, and him being like, raping me,” she said.
She also said she remembered another boy raping her in a bathroom, and yet another one raping her on a couch in front of people at the party. In all she said three people raped her that night.
“I told my mom at the kitchen counter one night when I was breaking down in tears, like, I physically cannot live any longer,” she said.
Just 16 at the time, she and her mom went to the Cherokee Sheriff’s Police to file a report. The woman is 19 years old now and said her case has gone nowhere.
Rape crimes are among the most difficult crimes to solve, especially when there is no forensic evidence. Fewer than 20% of perpetrators will ever get arrested, and even fewer than that will see the inside of a courtroom, according to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). But this woman was convinced she could beat those odds and would see at least one of her accused rapists arrested, all because of a phone call from a woman named Megan.
“Me and my friends went to this party,” Megan told us. “I was handed, you know, drinks. A solo cup.”
Megan said the night became a blur. She woke up the next day with no memory of the night before and she was in incredible pain.
“It was a feeling I’d never felt before because I was torn,” she said.
Megan called the other woman earlier this year after a mutual friend told her their stories sounded almost exactly alike. It was on that phone call the women realized they had been to parties at the same house, and they were accusing the same man of rape.
The only difference was the date. Megan filed her report with Cherokee investigators in 2018 -- the other woman, in 2019.
“Obviously I’m outraged,” said the mother of the woman. “This boy should have been stopped the first time that happened.”
The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office would not give us access to any records in these cases, saying they’re both open investigations. But the mother of the woman, whose identity we’re also protecting, said she reached out to the Reveal after seeing our earlier coverage of unsolved rapes in Cherokee County.
In that investigation, we reported that although Cherokee County said it solved 176 rape cases over five years, it only arrested 36 suspects. The mother said that statistic makes her worry about her daughter’s case.
“The last conversation I had with detective Hayes, he blatantly said, ‘You have a son, you know how boys can be.’,” The mother said.
All three hope by speaking out, their cases will move forward, and an arrest will come.
“I want him to be punished for what he did, not get away with it because it’s really a disgusting crime and nobody should get away with that. Especially multiple offenses of it,” said Megan.