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Chattanooga woman raped on way home from work, registered sex offender charged

Anthony Lebron Vance faces rape charges. (Images: Hamilton Co. Jail / MGN)

Chattanooga Police are charging a 54-year-old man with rape. Police arrested Anthony Lebron Vance on Wednesday evening.

An affidavit obtained by NewsChannel 9 says the incident happened in the 1800 block of Wilson Street just before 7 a.m. on January 3rd.

That's where the victim told officers she had been raped in the back yard of several nearby duplexes.

The victim told investigators she had just gotten off the bus and was on her way home from work, when a man she grabbed her and forced her into the backyard area.

The affidavit says after a brief struggle, the suspect raped her, telling her during the act that he was a member of the Crips gang, that he had a gun in his pocket, and that if she called for police, he would kill her.

Using the victim's detailed description of the suspect, the affidavit says Chattanooga Police investigators searched their database for suspects who matched the description that were known to the neighborhood, and who had a history of rape.

The search turned up Vance's name, and revealed that he was a registered sex offender. Police had arrested Vance on an unrelated charge later that same day (Jan. 3rd), and officers noticed the clothes he was wearing in his mugshot matched the victim's description of her rapist's clothing.

Police then began looking for Vance, and caught up with him at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. Under questioning later at the Police Services Center, Vance denied raping the victim.

But the affidavit says Vance is a registered sex offender with previous sexual assault charges, and that his methods were similar to previous cases involving sexual assault, and that he lived in the area. All of those factors led officers to charge Vance with rape.

This is a developing story and will be updated.



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