Rape victim, ex-heroin user shares her story

Woman says she started drinking when she was a pre-teen, bought drugs for many years as an adult and was raped by former co-worker who supplied her with heroin.
Cary Ashby
Jun 18, 2013

The rape victim and former drug abuser is telling her story for two reasons: To raise awareness and help her healing process.

Her story is one in which she was sexually abused for several years until she was about 15.

Now 28, the former New London resident also said she started drinking when she was a pre-teen, bought drugs for many years as an adult and reportedly was raped by a former co-worker -- a man who had been supplying her heroin.

"Obviously keeping it to myself has made things worse," she said.

The Reflector isn't naming her because she is an alleged victim of sexual abuse.

The suspected rape happened Dec. 9, 2010 at her former New London apartment. The woman, who lived in the village for almost three years, reported it to police in late May.

"From what she's telling me, she wanted to report it because it was affecting her mentally," said New London Police Officer Kevin VerBurg, who is handling the investigation.

"She has good credibility," he said. "It's going to be a difficult case. We don't have any physical evidence."

The suspect, 25, is serving a four-year prison term for burglary, theft and breaking-and-entering convictions through Ashland County. The Reflector isn't naming him because he hasn't been charged in connection with the rape case.

The convictions were "all to supply me drugs," his accuser said.

"I was his manager at the (local restaurant), where we both worked," she said.

Soon after they started working together, the woman said the man made it known he was interested in dating her, but she continually spurned his advances.

"He wanted to be romantically involved, but I told him, 'I don't want to be with you,'" the woman said.

"He left flowers behind the Dumpster (once)," she added.

 

Drugs 'on the clock'

While she admits she was "flirty" with her co-worker at the beginning, she also said she used her feminine wiles on the New London police officers who came to the restaurant. The woman said she was flirtatious with officers and made certain she served them coffee so they wouldn't suspect her of using drugs.

"I batted my eyelashes at them," she said.

Restaurant employees talked openly about using drugs, she said, which eventually led to her making arrangements for the man to drop off drugs at her apartment.

While "on the clock," she said she used drugs such as Darvocet.

"It wasn't a now-and-then situation; it was all the time," she said. "It wasn't an after-work type of thing.

"I brought them to work. I did them at work," she said. "It was an obvious thing ... but nobody ever said anything."

The restaurant eventually transferred her to another restaurant. The woman said her employers told her it was because she was on the phone too much, but she suspects the transfer was due to her drug usage.

 

The rape

A couple months into her work relationship with her accused rapist, she said she started buying heroin from him.

"He would bring them to work," she said.

Eventually, the woman said she and the man would arrange for her to leave money at a certain location near her apartment and the man would drop off the drugs, so it was pretty common for them not to see each other.

"I would call him or text him ... to set up a buy," she said.

It also wasn't unusual for him to stop by her apartment to drop off the heroin.

In those circumstances, the woman said her supplier would give her the drugs, she would pay him and he would leave. She called those incidents "just an exchange."

"It was normal for him to come over (for me) to buy drugs," the woman said.

She said there were times in the months before the suspected rape that the man would hang out with her or they would watch TV together. The woman didn't consider him dangerous and said the man never gave any indication of being violent.

The man's actions and mannerisms were different Dec. 9, 2010.

The woman was wearing a pair of sweatpants while watching TV.

"He came and knocked on the door," she said. "He gave me the heroin. I gave him the money."

She wondered why the man remained in her apartment after the transaction.

The man grabbed her and threw her on the floor, she said.

"He grabbed my pants and pulled them down," said the woman, who told him "no" four times.

"I'm screaming and pushing (him). ... I can't overpower him; there's no way," she said, estimating her attacker weighed twice as much as she did.

After the fourth time she yelled at him to stop, "he jumped off me," she said. The woman suspects she must have scratched him during their struggle.

But she didn't report the incident and didn't go to the hospital.

As the man left, "he said, 'You better not tell anybody I raped you,'" she said.

 

History of sexual, drug abuse

A Jan. 9, 2011 injury accident in Medina County and a subsequent pregnancy are what led her to start telling people she had been raped -- and stop using drugs.

"She came off it cold turkey," said her boyfriend, who has known her for about seven years.

"I made her come clean with this the moment of her accident," he said.

A LifeFlight helicopter flew her to an Akron hospital.

After the accident, the woman credits a female friend with helping her financially, such as helping buy Christmas gifts and being there for her emotionally. Her friend also gave her a place to stay.

"She gave me place to live because I lost my apartment because of the drugs," the woman said. "I had a real hard time getting back on my feet."

The woman's drug use started when she was 15. Over the years, she said she abused Nyquil, Dayquil, sleeping pills and prescription pills.

"I started with marijuana," she said. "I have had problems with drugs and alcohol my whole life."

At the age of 7, she said a family friend molested her after a family party. The woman said the sexual abuse didn't stop there -- she was molested "off and on" by different people until she was about 15 years old.

"Family members as well," she added. "I kept everything completely secret."

Although she didn't report the abuse, she said she found ways to cope -- mostly through substance abuse and lying.

"My mother found liquor bottles under my bed," she recalled about an incident when she was 10 or 11.

On the day of the crash, she left for work.

"She was texting a girl to buy drugs," her boyfriend said. "I literally was on the phone with her when she totaled her car.

"I confronted her. She of course denied it," he said. "From that point on, I wanted her to tell me everything."

After the suspected rape, the boyfriend said the woman was "a complete basket case." A few months ago, she told him about what happened.

"We filed the police report the next day," the boyfriend said.

 

What's next

VerBurg, the officer overseeing the rape investigation, is planning to interview the suspect soon. The woman said VerBurg is waiting for information from an Ashland County sheriff's detective before he proceeds.

"What it comes down to is I have to be honest about what happened to me on a daily basis. ... That's the first step to not repeating the same thing over and over again," the woman said.

Also, she said she shouldn't "push away the people who really care about me or run back to the people who excused my behavior."

Comments

Giddyup

Hmm sounds like my sister. You guys wanna know her name?

jaybird

umm ok

mojorising

A lot of pick and choose quotations... grade A reporters; and or editors

mojorising

Grasping for something that isn't there..

NLRob

What's not there as you say? Huron County has an alarming heroin problem, but what's being done about it. All communities are plagued by it's effects. A female with a history of abuse turns to drugs then gets raped. That sounds like a pretty logical story to me. Some people ignore people when they are suffering, other people exploit them. Fyi she worked at the McDonalds in New London.

happyfeet64

And why would you include the FYI? To potentially identify her? And what for god's sake would you want to do that? That's just effed up!There's a reason why there is a confidentiality law in place for victims of sexual abuse-would you attempt to identify a victim of incest or molestation to the community or do you feel she deserves what she gets because she's an ex addict? You're just cracked!

WASP71

Happyfeet 64- I think the paper should delete his comment for trying to give the ID away. That isn't needed here. That is just an idiot that has no respect for anyone. Dillweeded dumb*ss

24productions

Kinda' sounds fishy to me...if the journalism recreates her comments the way they were worded, then a few of her statements from "said" rape just don't add up to me...or, maybe I watch too much CSI...uhm, no.

JACKEL

Watch Investigative ID Discovery on 1139,they are actual stories.They had The Cleveland Girls Story already !

happyfeet64

One of the most basic steps to recovery is honesty- to your self and others. I really see no reason for her to make up this story all these years later.But, I do see where she needed to get this out of her head and feel she is doing something to facilitate the recovery process. I can relate to that being rape victim myself and an ex addict. Heroin numbs any and all emotions, that's why it's so effing hard to get clean. And if you've never had the emotional tools to deal with things on a personal level, then you can't figure out what to do to stop the pain and you welcome numbness. I've had hard times since I've became clean and I've had to do alot of soul searching through the years to figure out why I did what I did but all that matters is now- the person I've become and the life I've been blessed with,good or bad,ups and downs.Because today, I can deal with it.So, to the young woman who is sharing her story for her OWN emotional well being- Good for you! It's a long hard road but you can do it-many of us have and not regretted it!

mojorising

I appreciate your comment. I can't imagine what you have went through. My comment wasn't a personal attack or opinion of the interviewee, it was me nitpicking the mediocre journalism.

happyfeet64

Then bravo to you!

itsnotme

Why is this news?

Woody Hayes

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

Woody Hayes

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cockynurse

Yep-everyone has a sad story. Darvocet is lightweight.