Lebanon police seek help in search for rape suspect - WSMV Channel 4

Lebanon police seek help of local businesses in search for rape suspect

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Lebanon Police have released a sketch of the suspect in a rape earlier this month. (Source: Lebanon Police Department) Lebanon Police have released a sketch of the suspect in a rape earlier this month. (Source: Lebanon Police Department)
Lebanon police are investigating a rape near Park Avenue earlier this month. (WSMV) Lebanon police are investigating a rape near Park Avenue earlier this month. (WSMV)
LEBANON, TN (WSMV) -

Lebanon police are still searching for the suspect who allegedly raped an 18-year-old woman.

Now members of the community are getting involved to help find the man responsible.

If you walk around the town square in Lebanon, you'll see the sketch of the suspect posted in the windows of local businesses. Police believe this old-fashioned method will bring this man to justice.

P.J. Hardy with the Lebanon Police Department believes casting a wide net will help solve a time-sensitive case.

“Getting out of our patrol cars, getting on foot, going door to door - making sure we have these fliers posted around to all these retail businesses,” said Hardy. “We've got lots of coverage with this poster throughout the city. Hopefully, we'll find somebody who could recognize him and give some type of information.”

Police said the 18-year-old victim was walking home from a local high school. The young woman suffers from seizures and was going home to get her medication.

“She was taking the short cut she had taken previously in a wooded area,” Hardy explained. “A suspect approached her, never said anything, and preceded to rape her.”

A Wilson County school resource officer discovered the woman on Park Avenue in Lebanon. The SRO declined an on-camera interview, but did say he's been thinking about the young woman and her family since that day.

Across town, businesses like Poppie's Boutique believe that placing the sketch in their window will help spread attention across a tight-knit community.

"We've got young daughters, sisters, moms. It helps us look after each other, especially here on the square," said Angel Dillard. "I just think it's a great idea.”

Hardy says the suspect is a black male in his 20s.

“One thing from the sketch we did want to point out, is that it may look like he has a scraggly beard, or is bearded, but actually that's acne marks, scars.

“The only facial hair he had was a goatee,” said Hardy. “The other thing that stands out is he has a lip piercing a studded lip piercing in the center of his lower lip."

Police aren't sure if the suspect is still in Lebanon or if he's elsewhere. They are working with surrounding agencies.

The department also has the sketch on its Facebook page. Anyone with information should call (615) 444-2323.

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