Rape victim goes public to ensure her attacker is caught
HOUSTON – A rape victim went public to make sure her attacker was caught.
Investigators said Julius Merchant raped her, and he's linked to at least one more sexual assault.
He was already behind bars for a burglary case.
The woman did everything she could to make sure justice was served in her case.
"I know what I went through that night. I would not wish this on my worst enemy," the victim said.
The 29-year-old woman wants to show her face, but she is the victim of a violent sexual assault and our station policy errs on the side of protecting her identity.
"I thought I was going to die," she said.
Police said Merchant, 18, was a total stranger who attacked her and raped her inside her Meyerland-area apartment.
The victim posted pictures of her injuries to social media accounts in order to show what really happened.
"Rape victims are taught not to say anything we're the victims but we're treated like its our fault," she said.
The brave young woman refused to go down that road. At every turn she drew attention to the crime. She nudged investigators and pushed for justice.
This week, she got results. Police charged Merchant with sexual assault.
Investigators said he assaulted at least one other woman.
Merchant's biggest problem, following a standoff with police in May, is a capital murder charge for killing a man during a robbery.
His arrest doesn't make things instantly better. It doesn't work like that for victims of violent crime.
"I don't sleep at night. I'm terrified of everything I'm probably going to lose my business because I cant stand to leave my home," she said.