Victim says apartment complex threatened eviction after assault claim

A Sterling Heights woman said she was raped inside of her own apartment but when she told the apartment manager about, she said she was victimized again

A Sterling Heights woman is stepping up to share her story after she was attacked and sexually assaulted in her own home. The man responsible? According to police and the victim, he was a maintenance man working at her apartment complex.

Cynthia Clarke, 54, said she can't stop thinking about it; the images of what happened at Ashgrove apartment play in her head like an awful movie.

"I'm just frozen in fear," she said.

It happened last Thursday. She called maintenance to set up mouse traps in her apartment. The 28-year-old man who showed up was hired through a temp agency and after he got done with traps, he made a move.

"He stated you're very sexy to me and I was just like 'what?'," Clarke said.

Clarke was home sick that day and was wearing a robe when she says the man started fondling himself, then her. After telling him to stop, she says she didn't know what to do.

"He pushed me onto my bed. When I pushed myself back up, he came over my shoulder. He had his pants halfway down," she said.
 
After he left, Clarke called a friend, then police. But it was when she approached the manager of the apartment complex to report the crime that Clarke said she was victimized again.

"The apartment complex told me to shut up, don't say nothing," she said.

Clarke says she was also threatened with eviction. On Friday, the complex would not comment on the incident but only said the man was not their employee. 

The company that owns the apartments, Elon Properties, released this statement: 

"An extremely disturbing and outrageous incident was brought to our attention last week involving an Ashgrove resident.... We can confirm that in no way was an Elon employee involved in this incident. Elon is committed to the safety of all of our residents and has a zero tolerance for any sexual misconduct."

Sterling Heights police say they've made an arrest and the investigation is moving forward. Clarke says she hopes this never happens to someone else and is thankful to the detective who listened to her story.


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