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Gary man arrested in Merrillville rape, beating

Updated: March 2, 2013 7:29AM



MERRILLVILLE — A 43-year-old Gary man, already charged and jailed for a rape in December, has been charged with the Aug. 18 rape and beating of a woman traveling to Gary to visit relatives.

Ronald Dewayne Thompson is facing five felonies, including rape, criminal deviate conduct, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, and criminal confinement stemming from the August incident.

Police said Tuesday the woman was found lying in the grass in the 8300 block of Mississippi Street about 3:20 a.m. on Aug. 18. She told Detective Ray Smith she believed said had fractured ribs and she had been beaten and raped by a man.

The woman told Smith she took a train Aug. 17 to visit relatives in the Delaney Housing Center in Gary in the 2200 block of Pierce Street. She said she planned to take a bus from the train station but discovered the buses weren’t running so she walked.

She said a man, who identified himself as “Michael,” came out of a store on 22nd Avenue and asked if she needed a ride. She accepted the ride because she said the man looked “clean-shaven and neat.”

She said the man told her he had business to take care of and drove to a business near 61st Avenue and Broadway. He unlocked the building with a key. Once inside the building, he ordered her to perform sex and she refused. He began beating her, she said, until she almost lost consciousness. She said he slapped her more times and then pulled off her jogging pants, T-shirt and bra and raped her.

The woman said they got back into the man’s vehicle and, about five minutes later, she exited the car when it was stopped at a red light near 83rd Avenue and Mississippi Street.

After the incident, she said a necklace and her food stamp card were missing.

About 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 18, a man tried to use the food stamp card at the Wal-Mart store in Hobart but was declined.

Smith obtained the surveillance photographs from the store and the victim said she was “98 percent” sure it was the individual who raped and beat her. The woman suffered a fractured rib, and bruises on her right hip, buttocks and knees. She was treated at Methodist Hospitals Southlake campus.

Meanwhile, Smith began assisting another Merrillville detective in the investigation of the December rape and Smith noticed similarities in the description of the suspect, the vehicle and the location of the attack.

Thompson was charged in that rape and is being held in the Lake County Jail. Thompson told police he found the food stamp card near a gas station at 53rd Avenue and Broadway and denied involvement in the Aug. 18 attack.



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