MOULTRIE -- A state inmate working on the courthouse grounds allegedly grabbed a woman out of the hall Friday morning and raped her in the men's room.
A Colquitt County Correctional Institution (CCCI) inmate has been identified as a suspect, but no arrests have been made as of press time, investigators said.
"We're still in the interviewing stage now," Deputy Investigator David Corona said.
Two women used the first floor women's restroom. The alleged victim left the restroom first and rounded the hall corner. There, in front of the men's room, she reportedly encountered the inmate who engaged her in friendly conversation, investigators said.
He asked her to step closer to the men's room door. She didn't comply, so he walked over and pulled her into a restroom stall by her arm, investigators said.
Meanwhile, her friend walked in and around the courthouse, looking for her. When she came back to the women's room, she saw the inmate calming exiting and proceeding outside. Then the complainant emerged with a dazed look on her face, investigators said.
The friend took the alleged victim to the women's room, where the victim washed her face and washed semen from her leg, saying she "felt dirty," Corona said.
The friend reported the incident to staff at the Probate Court.
Jennifer Blakely, an employee of the Probate Court, called the sheriff's department, but another employee, Kittie Gandy, spotted Sheriff Al Whittington parked in his truck on the other side of the courthouse square talking to the detail officer and summoned him to the scene.
Investigators are uncertain how long the alleged rape took place. No one in the building reported hearing anything. The inmate would have had a clear view of Whittington and the detail officer from the hall in front of the restrooms.
There were no signs of struggle, investigators said, but the woman, a 30-year-old black female, was taken to the hospital and consented to a rape kit.
All state inmates must submit to DNA sampling, CCCI officials said. Ten inmates working the detail and in the courthouse were locked down for hours at the CCCI before investigators questioned them.
Investigators later drove the woman to the CCCI grounds, and she identified a suspect from an outside line-up through the vehicle's tinted windows, Chief Investigator Hal Suber said.