FRANKLIN - A Franklin woman walking home from midnight mass early on New Year's Day was sexually assaulted.

Police say it was 2:00 a.m. when a man with a gun tried to rob the 55-year-old in the area of Gardner Street and Armory Drive. When she said she didn't have any money, he forced her behind a home, raped her and then ran off, said Lt. Tim Whitt.

Corporal Josh Butts says the attacker walked her at gunpoint until they came to an opening in a fence to the yard where the attack occurred.

That homeowner, Nancy Sandidge, said she put up the fence for her own security because so many strangers have walked past her house. She says many things have been taken as well.

Cpl. Butts says they have some promising leads. For now, he cautions the elderly to take extra care until they find the attacker. He's described as black, wearing light-colored pants, a plaid shirt or jacket with red in the pattern.

Anyone with information about this crime should call Detective Corporal J. B. Butts at 757-562-2849, Franklin Police 757-562-8575, or Franklin Crime Solvers at 757-562-8599.

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