Counselors praise woman for reporting rape by suspect trying to ‘leave his mark on her’

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UPDATE (Nov. 19, 2015): Jeffery Polk pleaded guilty to sexual battery and was sentenced to 15 months in the Bartholomew County Jail. He was given credit for time served, leaving about nine months on his sentence. He will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. (June 4, 2015) — A man is behind bars, accused of raping a woman and trying to “leave his mark on her.”

Prosecutors charged Jeffery Polk, 49, with two counts of rape.

A woman came forward in May, saying she agreed to go to dinner with Polk on her birthday. Instead, he took her to his home where he began to undress her.

“She at first protested that ‘we better not’ … (and) she repeatedly told him to stop,” an officer said in court paperwork.

Instead, the woman said Polk raped her, at one point “he threatened that he would ‘pull her insides out’ if she were to engage in sex with anyone else.”

She said Polk also pierced her nipple with a safety pin to “leave his mark on her.”

“Rape is about having power and control over someone else. … There’s never an excuse to rape,” Dr. Darla McKeeman with non-profit Turning Point said.

McKeeman praised the victim in the case for coming forward, saying 68% of sexual assaults go unreported.

“The victim coming forward was very good because what we know is rapists rarely have one victim,” McKeeman said.

An officer said Polk admitted to the rape under questioning.

“Mr. Polk acknowledged that he has a problem and needs help. He told me that he doesn’t intend to hurt women, but that he sometimes can’t control his sex drive,” that officer said in court paperwork.

McKeeman called that an excuse and a myth that is common in sexual assault cases.

“We’re all in control of our behavior,” McKeeman said.

Turning Point is the only major resource for sexual assault victims in Bartholomew County. McKeeman hoped other victims would see the story and reach out for help, even if they do not feel comfortable talking to police.

“We present people with options, we don’t make decisions for them,” McKeeman said.

You can call Turning Point’s crisis line anytime at 800-221-6311 or visit their website here. If you need help outside of Bartholomew County, visit the link here.

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