School Closings and Cancellations

Girl reports being raped at gunpoint on Calhoun Co. trail; suspect in custody

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BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Battle Creek Police have released more information in the case of young woman who was allegedly raped Monday afternoon just minutes after stepping off of a school bus.

The 16-year-old victim told police that she got off the bus near the intersection of Stuben Road and Collier Avenue around 2pm. While walking on a trail, that she takes everyday, she heard twigs snapping behind her. When she turned around , she saw man walking closely behind her.

"She was forcibly taken to the ground," said Major Jim Grafton with the BCPD. "A handgun was displayed pointed directly at her and the suspect forced the young female to have sex with him. After the rape had taken place the suspect casually took off from the scene and our victim responded to her house partially clothed."

Grafton spoke with the media at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon. He said the entire incident lasted six or seven minutes. Afterward, the victim ran home and dialed 911.  Police have not found the gun.

"The victim, our young female, through that trauma and through that heinous crime, she was able to give us a great description," said Grafton. "It's because of her and her ability to articulate to us exactly what happened. And with the description she provided we were able to identify this individual."

Police have identified the suspect as 31-year-old Allen French, 31. Police said he left the scene on a bicycle which they later recovered at French's home.  Police said the suspect lived within a mile of the victim and they knew of one another.

"Usually he would be on the trail and she would be walking either to or from school," said Grafton. "They would engage at that time. But this one was different."

French was arraigned on charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct, 1st degree, kidnapping and abduction.  His bond was denied. Police said that his brother, whom he lives with, is a registered sex offender. They're looking into similar crimes that they believe he may be responsible for.

"Detective [Scott] Silverman identified two other potential cases involving this individual again with the same M.O. involving criminal sexual conduct in the behavior," said Grafton.  "We’re looking to re-open those investigations."

 

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