A man faced rape charges during a Thursday morning Recorder's Court hearing after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman near the Columbus Public Library on Macon Road.
Samuel Serrano, 28, faced charges of rape, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping and violation of probation during an 8 a.m. hearing Thursday.
Police responded to the Summit gas station on Macon Road at about 3 a.m. Wednesday in reference to a rape. The 23-year-old victim told police that she was walking to meet her boyfriend, who was working late at a business nearby, when she was grabbed by a stranger near the library and pulled into some bushes near the building. Officers told the court that the man allegedly raped the victim and choked her "to the point she could hardly breathe."
After the incident, officers said the man allegedly forced the victim to walk with him to the end of Macon Road so it would seem as if nothing had happened. After walking with him for a short period of time, she escaped to the gas station and called police.
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Officers told the court that the victim was terribly distraught and was covered in dirt and pine straw from where she was forced on the ground by the suspect. She had no visible injuries.
Police immediately began searching the area for a suspect wearing blue gym shorts with two white stripes down the side. On Hood Street, an officer stopped Serrano and brought him back to the gas station so that he could be positively identified.
Meanwhile, other officers searched the location where the rape was alleged to have taken place. They found an open, unrolled condom in the bushes, along with a white substance which was possibly semen.
Serrano was unable to provide a sufficient explanation for his presence on Hood Street after he was positively identified by the victim. Officers also discovered he had a warrant out for his arrest which was related to a no state tag violation. He was given the aforementioned charges and taken to Muscogee County Jail.
Judge Michael Cielinski set Serrano's bond at $45,000.