Monroe Arnold

An investigation into an alleged sexual assault on a young woman last weekend in Baldwin County led to an arrest of a suspect this week, local authorities say.

The suspect was identified as Monroe Franklin Arnold, of the 100 block of Moore Street, Milledgeville, according to Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Detective Thomas “T.J.” Hargrove.

Warrants were taken out against Arnold on charges of felony rape and giving false statements to a police officer, Hargrove said.

Arnold’s arrest followed an interview at the sheriff’s office on Wednesday, the detective said.

After the suspect was arrested, he was escorted down a hallway from an interrogation room in the criminal investigations division area and turned over to jail staff on the other side of the law enforcement center.

Arnold remained held in the Baldwin County Law Enforcement Center on Friday morning.

The suspect is accused of sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman from Macon-Bibb County. The woman spent last weekend in town with a close friend.

The victim went to the sheriff’s office and talked with Deputy David Watson last Sunday morning and reported the alleged crime.

Watson said Hargrove, who was the on-call detective at the time, advised that the victim to go to Navicent Health Baldwin hospital in Milledgeville for a rape kit examination.

The victim told authorities that she was sexually assaulted by a man in her friend’s bedroom, where she had gone to smoke a cigarette last Saturday afternoon.

The victim’s friend was away at work at the time of alleged crime.

Watson said the victim told him that the man who sexually assaulted her in the bedroom later told her not to tell anyone and reportedly threatened harm to her if she did.

During the course of the investigation, Hargrove obtained a warrant to seize the sheets from the bed to have tested at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory for evidence purposes. The victim’s clothing that she was wearing at the time of the sexual assault also was collected by authorities as possible evidence in the case.

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