Man indicted in ETSU rape case after first defendant released

Becky Campbell • Updated Mar 20, 2019 at 4:36 PM

A man accused of raping an East Tennessee State University student on campus in February was served with a presentment Tuesday after a grand jury indicted him in the case earlier this month.

Another man had been arrested in the case soon after the rape was reported, but those charges were dismissed when that man was arraigned.

David Franklin Creech, 40, who was in the Sullivan County jail on unrelated charges, was served with the presentment and warrant during a court appearance in Kingsport. The aggravated rape charged stemmed from a reported Feb. 24 assault on campus.

He was charged by ETSU with aggravated rape, attempted aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal exposure to the hepatitis C virus.

According to ETSU’s original news release, the student told ETSU’s Public Safety department she had been walking near the campus powerhouse around 4 a.m. when she was attacked by a man with a knife. The man ran toward West State of Franklin Road.

She described the attacker as white, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, skinny and having blondish/brown shaggy hair. She also described him as having a pointy, big nose and a pointy chin. The man was wearing blue jeans, brown work boots and a dark color jacket.

ETSU declined to release any other details about the case, but the court records filed soon after stated the attacker forced the woman to perform oral sex and she bit him in an attempt to get away. She was able to run, but the man caught up to her and injured her with the knife.

With the case going to the grand jury first, there was no affidavit filed. Details about the rape were revealed in a search warrant filed Feb. 25 in which an ETSU investigator had Creech’s genitals examined to look for an injury the victim allegedly inflicted.

In the search warrant that was returned to the clerk’s office after being served, it indicated that Creech was examined at Johnson City Medical Center and had injuries consistent with what the victim described. Creech was not the original suspect in the case, and not the first person arrested.

Johnson City police said they found a man matching the description walking in the area. A photo of the man was shown to the victim, who told police that was the man who attacked her. ETSU police arrested him.

But when the man was taken to be arraigned the next day, the case was dismissed and expunged by a court order from a General Sessions judge.

Police later focused on Creech in the investigation after he was at Johnson City Medical Center in another situation, according to police records.

The Johnson City Press sought comment from ETSU Public Safety officials about the original arrest, but Chief Nicole Collins declined to comment about the details.

“This case remains an ongoing investigation and we cannot provide any further details at this time,” Collins said in a statement released by ETSU University Relations. “A suspect is in custody and has been arrested.”

Editor’s note: The Johnson City Press has elected not to identify the first man arrested in the case because the charges were dismissed and expunged. This is a developing story. Continue visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for details as they are made available.

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