Neighbors in Lowertown concerned after report of rape

A neighborhood is on edge after a report of a rape. Paducah police have not made any arrests after filing the report earlier this month.

The rape reportedly happened on North 5th Street in Paducah’s Lowertown district.

A woman tells police a man held a gun to her head and zip-tied her hands and feet together. She says another man forced her to have sex. 

Neighbors in Lowertown now say they’re staying on the lookout for trouble.

Vickie Cass says she lives in the area and bikes through Lowertown all the time. But now, Cass says she’ll choose when and where to bike a little more carefully. She says: “I probably won’t be coming out very much at night. If I do, I’ll make sure I have someone with me.”

Cass is not alone. Paducah police chief Brandon Barnhill says he’s been answering many concerned calls from those in Lowertown, trying to help police with any leads. He says they take any rape allegation seriously.

Barnhill says a crime like that is serious business, and they’re investigating every lead. He says: “The detectives are working very hard to determine the validity on the front end of that.”

Paducah police say the problem is that getting the results back from sexual assault kits takes a minimum of six to nine months.

Barnhill says while any kind of crime in their backyard is understandably a cause for concern, there isn’t another one like this crime. He says: “I don’t want there to be more panic or concern than is justified, so we’re going to work through the process.”

But Cass says on these streets, she plans to take every precaution she can. She says: “Women kinda’ need to watch out for themselves.”

We were initially told about this story through Facebook posts from the Lowertown Neighborhood Association.

I reached out to the association, but I haven’t heard anything back yet.

Barnhill says they have not made an arrest in this case.

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