5 Men Arrested For Rape in 2 Months

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham Police have arrested five men and charged them with the crime of rape.  Police say the suspects are Darius Brown, Tadarius Johnson, Ryan Sharpe, Maurice Hollman and Benny Bozeman.  Two other men were arrested for sex related crimes.

The arrests come despite the fact police say rapes are down in the Magic City.  "But we want people to know we want them off the street," says Birmingham Police spokesperson, Sgt. Johnny Williams, Jr.  He adds that one of the biggest keys to the most recent captures has been the community's help.  "We do have victims coming forward.  But we do believe there are more victims out there who are afraid to come forward."

Rhiannon Rees with the Rape Response line says she's excited with the recent arrests.  "We see on average about 5 cases per week. That's a lot," says Rees. " We don't require they report to police.  But of the ones that do, seven arrests in 2 months is a pretty big number."

Reese says she knows there are more victims out there.  She says for every one that gets reported, ten go unreported.  She also understands the fear some victims may feel in coming forward.  Still, she and her center encourage victims to do so.  "For their own peace of mind..so it doesn't happen again.  Few rapists rape one time.  So to help other people and help themselves."

Sgt. Williams says the message to the public is, "Help us to help you.  We need you to be brave and we're going to take charge and help you bring this person to justice."

Rhiannon Reese says one thing those at rape response do is be an advocate for victims by offering counseling, legal options, and even going to court with a victim if that's an avenue they decide to pursue.  If you would like their help, you can call them at 205-323-7273.