Rape suspect held to Boyle grand jury

March 23, 2004|GARY MOYERS

A man accused of breaking into a Danville woman's apartment March 14 and repeatedly raping her was bound over to the Boyle County grand jury Monday after a hearing in front of District Judge Jeff Dotson.

Lawrence W. Peyton, 26, of Louisville, is charged with first-degree rape and first-degree burglary after his arrest at a Patrician Place apartment the day of the alleged rape. After testimony by Detective Patrick McQueen, Dotson handed the case up to the grand jury, which meets April 16, and set bail at $250,000 cash. The grand jury will determine whether or not there is enough evidence to proceed with the felony charges.

"This man is a predator, a registered sex offender with multiple, multiple felony convictions," said County Attorney Richard Campbell after defense attorney Stacy Coontz petitioned the court for a lower bail. "I would strenuously object to a decrease in his bond; in fact, I would request an increase in bond."


Dotson agreed, raising Peyton's bond to $200,000 cash only. Peyton remains in the Boyle County Detention Center.

McQueen testified that police were dispatched to the alleged victim's apartment at 5:30 a.m. after she made a call to emergency dispatch. Upon arrival, police were told the victim had suffered injuries and had been taken to Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center.

According to McQueen, the victim said she heard a noise in her apartment about 4:30 a.m. that sounded like blinds on a window falling, and moments later a man came into her bedroom, placed one hand over her mouth and threatened her with a knife in the other hand. She said she managed to scream a warning to her children in another bedroom, and at that point, she told police, the man cut her on the arm with the knife.

The victim told police she was raped repeatedly for the next hour, and at one point the children came into the bedroom. When they did, she told police, she was able to take the knife away from her attacker, forcing him to flee the apartment on foot.

McQueen said police got a description of the attacker from the victim, and with her description, particularly of his apparel, coupled with their own investigation, they immediately identified Peyton as a suspect.

McQueen said Peyton stayed in the Patrician Place area with his girlfriend and that he is a registered sexual offender.

"Peyton lives in the area, and he's known to us," said McQueen. "He is a registered sexual offender, and his name is in the computer."

McQueen said police executed a search of Peyton's girlfriend's apartment, with her permission, while Peyton slept. Police found several items of clothing consistent with the victim's description, including a pair of khaki pants in the closet that McQueen said appeared to be bloody. Peyton was arrested at that point.

During questioning, Peyton denied he committed the crimes but gave several inconsistent statements, McQueen said

"He insisted his residence is in Louisville, but he does stay with his girlfriend when he's in Danville," said McQueen.

McQueen said blood and hair samples have been sent to a crime lab, and results have not been returned. Detective Robert Williamson, whom McQueen called a fingerprint expert, found four prints on a window beam in the victim's apartment that allegedly match Peyton's. McQueen said Peyton's fingerprints are on file with the department because of previous arrests.

Peyton is registered with the Kentucky State Police as a sexual offender. According to information from that site, he must remain registered for 10 years after a conviction on attempted/solicitation first-degree rape. He was first registered in September.

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