Anthony Sowell Case: Did Cops Ignore Attacked Woman?

By Kamika Dunlap on November 18, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

New information has come to light about Ohio serial killing suspect Anthony Sowell.

A woman who claimed she was attacked and raped by Sowell in his house last year says the police did not take her seriously.

Now, she has come forward and disclosed details in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about how she ran to police, bleeding and screaming for help and authorities believed his words over hers.

Sowell, a registered sex offender was arrested soon after, but then released, and no charges were filed against him regarding the allegedly attacked woman.

Detectives investigating the incident told Wade that since she had a pending assault case it was her word against his.

Sowell, 50, previously served 15 years for rape.

He is now a suspect in the murders of 11 women whose bodies were found decomposing in his house and yard.

Five of those women went missing after Wade reported the attack.

Police say there were several reasons why Sowell was not held in custody in Wade's case. A detective presented a case and to city prosecutor who decided there was not enough evidence to pursue charges on behalf of the allegedly attacked woman.

Last week a city prosecutor said a detective indicated that Wade was not credible. 

Wade told the paper she still has nightmares about her encounter and feels guilty that her case was not enough to stop Sowell.

She said she still doesn't understand why there wasn't enough evidence to pursue charges. Her blood was in his house and she left her sweater there too.

In the article Wade said, "I kept thinking of all those families."  She wonders about "[a]ll those women that might be alive if these people had only believed me. I want to sit with their families and tell them how sorry I am."

Wade said she was afraid to follow up with police because she had a parole violation after her assault charges. She also didn't know if they would believe her.

The timing of Sowell's release and whether police took Wade seriously are now key questions in the case.

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