JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - After three years of legal wrangling, a woman raped on James Island is sharing her story. This comes after a judge sentenced her attacker, 49-year-old James Alexander, to six years in prison. The victim says the sentence is nothing compared to the crime.
In February 2008, a night out with the girls turned into a night of terror for this woman.
"I just thought that I was not going to make it," the victim said. "I thought I was going to be dead."
She left her cell phone inside the Island Bar and Grill on Folly Road and when she realized the front door was locked, she went around to the back.
"I got half way around the building and then I heard footsteps from behind and then the next thing I know I woke up with the man on top of me," she said.
The man who raped her was later identified as Alexander.
"I was fighting for my life," she said. "I was trying to use all the strength I had in my legs."
A bartender discovered the 29-year-old victim on the ground.
I thought he was going to leave me for dead. Something spooked him off...I think he very possibly could have killed me if something didn't scare him off that night.
Her sister took her to MUSC for a rape kit test and then on to the police station where she identified Alexander, a man she'd never seen before that night, in a line up. Soon after, he was arrested and released on bond.
"Now is the fact that he knows who I am, before he didn't recognize me and didn't know who I was," she said. "Now he knows who I am. That's very scary for me."
Nearly four years after the incident, a judge sentenced Alexander to six years behind bars.
"That's why I wanted to talk because it's going to make other people scared to come forward if the same thing happens to them," she said. "To know that the person is just going to get a slap on the wrist and be right back out to do it to somebody else."
Although Alexander has barely begun serving his sentence, the victim said she already fears for the future, but says fighting for some justice was worth it in the end.
"I definitely would go through it again and I think maybe it was meant to be to help other people.
Rape victims can anonymously call People Against Rape at 745-0144.