SOUTH BEND — A homeless woman said she was raped by a man who offered to trade room and board for sex.
The woman, 30, was at an apartment complex in the 400 block of South 26th Street early Friday morning “crying because she had nowhere to live” and “waiting for the YWCA to open,” police said.
After finding no one home at a friend’s apartment, she said a man who lived nearby invited her into his apartment. Once inside, he reportedly told her she could stay with him in exchange for sex, according to police.
The woman refused, but the man reportedly would not let her leave, claimed he had a gun — although the woman later told police she never saw a gun — and ordered her to take off her clothes.
“Out of fear,” police said, the woman complied with the man’s orders and lay on the floor, where she said the man forced her to have sex even though she said she “told him ‘no’ … several times,” an officer said.
Afterward, the man went into the bathroom and the woman got dressed before saying she wanted to leave the apartment to get cigarettes.
The pair left together, with him holding on to her arm. When they walked outside she saw another male who reportedly helped the woman get away from her alleged attacker and call police.
Officers arrived and spoke with the man, who claimed the sex was consensual. He also told police his gun had been stolen months ago, police said.
An officer cited “conflicting details” and “lack of credible evidence” as reasons why no arrest was made.
The woman was transported by ambulance to an area hospital, where she underwent a rape kit exam.
Staff writer Jeff Harrell: