CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police are investigating two recent cases of sexual assault where in both cases the victims say a man they did not know walked up to them in public, got aggressive, and forced them into sexual acts.
Nathaniel Wilson, a 47-year-old registered sex offender, has been arrested and charged in one of the assaults, but police say they are still searching for the other suspect.
"Women definitely need to be concerned. The statistics are really high. Statistics say one in four women will be sexually assaulted and the number, we always see the numbers skyrocket during the summertime unfortunately because people are out more," People Against Rape Education Coordinator Meshia Means said.
Police say Wilson assaulted a woman multiple times in different areas of downtown Charleston, all in a four hour time span. Police say the victim in this case was walking alone on King Street, headed to her car parked on Cannon Street, when the suspect approached. They say he became aggressive and threatened he had a weapon, and demanded she do exactly as he said.
Means says people planning to go out, especially at night should never walk alone, know their surroundings, not be distracted, have a game plan, and designate a driver.
Means also suggests people with smart phones download a safety app known as "Bsafe." It sends text alerts to five people alerting them to your location and that you may be in danger.
"I can hit this big red SOS button. It will alert my top five. It's going to send a message to them to let them know exactly where I am. It will also call one of my top fives. It's going to call my number one person automatically and tell them that I am in some sort of danger," Means said.
Officials say the suspect who is still on the run was involved in separate incident two weeks ago. They say the suspect met a woman at a bus stop, went back with her to her apartment, sexually assaulted her, and tried to strangle her at her home.
They say the two cases are not related.
The suspect Wilson is a registered sex offender. He was taken to Charleston County Detention Center, and the judge set his bond at $50,000. According to our research, there are 406 registered sex offenders living in Charleston.