Alleged Rape Victim Identifies Truck Driver As Attacker, Gives Graphic Testimony About Attack
“He said you’re not making it out of this truck alive if you don’t do what I want.” – victim’s testimony in last week’s court hearing
Erie, Pennsylvania – A truck driver accused of raping an Erie, Pennsylvania, woman in the sleeper of his semi-truck back in October is now facing even more charges and headed to trial.
Transportation Nation Network first reported this story to you when it broke back in October and now more details from this alleged horrific crime are beginning to come out. Jerome Keyes, 57, of Mississippi, is now facing 11 charges including rape, kidnapping and aggravated assault following a preliminary hearing in an Erie courtroom last Monday in front of Judge Tom Carney.
According to multiple reports from those in attendance, the 37-year-old victim entered the courtroom shaken and in a state of panic. She took the stand and gave what can only be described as gruesome details about the night she was attacked.
Victim Gives Detailed Testimony About The Brutal Attack
During the hearing the victim explained that in the early morning hours of October 17 she went to a Shell gas station located on East 6th and Parade Streets to pick up cigarettes and soda for herself and her husband. While returning back to her home on foot she says she felt something sharp being held to her throat from behind her. “I was walking towards the corner, and I felt someone put something to the vein in my neck,” said the victim, according to court records. “He said get in the truck before the cops come.”
The victim said she did as she was instructed and testified she was made to strip before being driven to a parking lot near West 13th and Chestnut streets. Surveillance video from nearby cameras show the semi entered the lot at approximately 1:38 a.m.
The victim then testified Keyes violently raped her repeatedly, leaving her severely beaten and bloodied. “Every time I would say something or cry, he would hit me,” she testified. “He said you’re not making it out of this truck alive if you don’t do what I want.”
The victim then said she attempted to escape and was stabbed in the heel by Keyes. However, she was eventually able to free herself. The disturbing moments she was able to exit the truck and begin running away were also captured by the surveillance cameras.
The victim explained that she was naked and ran as quickly as she could to a nearby house. Thankfully, the resident of that home took her in and alerted authorities of the brutal attack. The victim also testified that she was beaten so badly, she can no longer see out of her right eye, due to a major concussion she sustained in the attack.
Trucking Company Helps Police Identify Keyes
Keyes was identified after police say two callers recognized the trucking company from the truck in the video. Investigators followed up with the trucking company to identify the driver and confirmed Keyes was in fact in Erie at the time of the attack.
Keyes pleaded not guilty to the crime at his preliminary hearing, but Judge Carney ordered him to stand trial, and added two additional counts of sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Keyes is being held on $250,000 bond. He’s expected to face a trial on these charges sometime in 2019.