October 21, 2014

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Arrest made in Lorain rape case

LORAIN — A Lorain man was arrested late Friday night in the case of a Lorain woman who was reportedly abducted and raped Wednesday evening.

Joseph B. Worthy, 36, was being held without bond pending his appearance Monday in Lorain Municipal Court on first-degree felony charges of rape and kidnapping, according to Lorain police spokesman Lt. Roger Watkins.

Detective Stevyen Curry found and arrested Worthy late Friday,  but details of the arrest, including where it occurred, were not immediately available.
Worthy was described by police as 5-foot-4, weighing 147 pounds, black, and homeless.

He is accused of accosting an 18-year-old woman as she walked in the 1100 block of Long Avenue about 6 p.m. Wednesday. The woman told police the man threatened to hurt her if she did not go with him, Watkins said.

The man took the woman to a vacant house where the sexual assault occurred.

It was not immediately clear whether Worthy was armed during the attack, but the woman apparently believed he was, Watkins said.

“She believed he was armed prior to that,” Watkins said, referring to the time of the assault.

Worthy made a statement when he was arrested, but police did into disclose any of his statement.

Watkins declined to answer when asked if Worthy and his victim knew each other.

Watkins credited a department-wide effort leading to the quick arrest of Worthy.

There was quite a bit of work by the patrol and narcotics divisions, Curry, and the CIU (Community Impact Unit),” Watkins said.

The investigation into the rape and kidnapping led to police working “a lot of overtime, conducting a lot of interviews and tracking down a lot of leads,” Watkins said.

“We went from having no idea who this person was to making an apprehension within two days,” Watkins said.

“The chief made it clear this was a high-priority case, and that he wanted the person who committed this crime identified and found before this type of thing happened again,” Watkins said. “This was a pretty horrendous crime.”

Watkins said police also wanted to try to give a measure of peace to residents of the neighborhood where the rape occurred.

“Most of us working this case including myself and Curry live in Lorain. I grew up in that neighborhood and so did the chief,” Watkins said. “Something like this does not occur very often. We took this very seriously.”

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.