Attacked at 16, Woman Waits 12 Years for Justice

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OTTAWA, Kan. -- Kidnapped and sexually assaulted at 16, one woman spent the last 12 years waiting for her attacker to be brought to justice. That day came on Tuesday when a Franklin County jury convicted 53-year-old Ralph Corey of five criminal counts, including kidnapping and sexual battery.

The victim, whose identity we're protecting, was attacked while leaving her job at Walmart one night in February 2006. She walked to her car, opened the door but never got to shut it.

"The moment she was getting ready to close her car door, he attacked her as she was seated in the car, punched her several times in the head, threw her over the seat, forced his way in and then abducted her," said Stephen Hunting, Franklin County attorney.

Hunting said Corey drove the victim across the street to another parking lot where he sexually assaulted her. He then drove her across the street again to the Country Mart parking lot where continue to beat and sexually assault her.

"When I got attacked, I wasn't able to see my attacker at all," the victim said. "I had a stocking cap put over my head. I was striked multiple times."

The victim said she fought back and believes Corey didn't fully rape her because of her age.

"I truly believe that he did have a child my age because ... when I told him I was 16 something struck and he told me he was going to let me go," she said.

It wasn't until the trial that the victim learned her attacker did have a daughter, just one year younger than her.

As for the investigation, detectives used the suspect's DNA left on a pair of gloves at the crime scene and matched it to Corey -- but not until 2011. Police located Corey in an Arizona prison, serving time for counterfeiting.

"The hit came shortly before his release, so it was crucial," Hunting said.

This was Corey's second trial on the same charges. The first jury convicted him in June, but the judge declared a mistrial after learning a juror used a smart phone during deliberations to learn more information about the case.

"I had a little bit of an emotional breakdown," said the victim. "My brother came up to me and told me I needed to get it together and stay strong because it will all work out in the end."

On Monday a second jury deliver the same verdict, Ralph Corey guilty on five counts, including kidnapping and sexual battery.

"I wish the best for his family," the victim said, "that's the biggest thing -- I feel sorry for his family."

Corey faces up to 37 years in prison and is expected to be sentenced in December. The victim encourages those who've survived sexual assaults to tell police. She's now in nursing school, training to be a sexual assault nurse expert.

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