A man choked a Whitman County woman unconscious and sexually assaulted her near a grain elevator outside Rosalia Wednesday night.
The 27-year-old woman was returning home from her job in Spokane and pulled over to go to the bathroom near the McCoy elevators on state Highway 271, five miles south of Rosalia, when the attack occurred, said Undersheriff Dalton Lewey.
The woman remained semi-conscious until she was found about 11 p.m. by her husband and father. They went looking for her when she did not return to her home near Palouse.
They took her to Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, where she was treated and released.
Whitman County rapes in which the victim does not know her assailant rarely happen outside Pullman, and the remote location of this one has investigators startled, Lewey said.
“In my 23 years here, I have not seen a similar situation,” he said.
Lewey said it appears the woman’s attacker was a transient. The woman described him as a white male 40-50 years old, beardless but unshaven, with a three-fourths-length coat, strong body odor and large, rough hands.
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