HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Police are gathering evidence after arresting a 25-year-old man in connection with an alleged rape that happened early Saturday morning in Henrico County. According to police, the alleged rape took place in the parking lot of a bar located in the Shoppes at Innsbrook plaza around 1:30 a.m.
Lt. Richard Cosby told CBS 6 News that the victim and the accused met each other at the bar earlier in the evening. Officials said as the victim was walking to her car, she was physically and sexually assaulted.
The alleged rape was reported around 6 a.m. when the victim arrived at St. Mary’s Hospital and an off-duty officer reported it.
Henrico police arrested 25-year-old Driton Sulejmani a few hours later and charged him with forcible rape and sodomy. Sulejamani, who was arrested Saturday night at his relative’s house, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
News of the arrest has surprised residents and customers at the Shoppes at Innsbrook.
“That is really hard to believe because this is an area with a lot of neighborhood traffic,” said Vivian McMillen.
Becky Lee of the Richmond, Virginia YWCA confirmed to CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George that the YWCA was called in to aide the female victim.
“If a forensic exam is going to be completed then the hospital will notify our hotline,” Lee said.
Lee added that rape and assaults are not uncommon in the Richmond area with nearly 400 calls coming in to the YWCA’s hospital each year.
Lee said that what makes this alleged rape rare is the fact it occurred in a very public setting.
“There is a level of boldness being outside and so very public,” Lee said.
Lee said this should be a reminder to all women and men to watch their surroundings.
“There are so many assaults that occur not by strangers but by people that are known,” Lee added.
Sulejmani was denied bond on Monday. He will head back to court in September.