OAK HILL, W.Va. — A Fayette County man is charged with kidnapping, first degree sexual assault and first degree robbery for allegedly attacking and sexually assaulting a woman who was jogging on the Oak Hill rail trail on Saturday evening.

Thomas Gene Carter, Jr.

Thomas Gene Carter, Jr., 47, of Oak Hill was being held in the Southern Regional Jail on Sunday morning.

As of Sunday, the victim was said to be in stable condition at a local hospital.

She told police a man wearing a mask and gloves attacked her from behind near Allman Street while she was on the rail trail and dragged her into a wooded area off the trail where he tied her up, gagged her and used a knife to cut off her clothing.

The woman said the suspect sexually assaulted her and then left her tied up, promising to return to rape her again before killing her. While the suspect was gone, the woman was able to free herself and run to a home on Allman Street for help. The 911 call from the home came in around 6 p.m. Saturday.

Using a description from the victim and help from the public, investigators identified Carter as the possible suspect. He was later located, hiding under a porch in Oak Hill’s Briarwood Trailer Park, and arrested.

Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said it was a brutal attack during daylight hours. “The suspect was allegedly armed with a knife and allegedly threatened to kill the victim during this prolonged assault,” the Sheriff said in a statement.

“The victim is extremely fortunate that she was able to break free and seek help, or we would probably be investigating a murder.”

Oak Hill Police Chief Mike Whisman said such violence is shocking. “This is an extremely unusual event to occur on our Rails-To-Trails exercise path. The Oak Hill Police Department regularly patrols this exercise path, both on foot and by bicycle patrol. Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere at once,” he said.

Those with the Oak Hill Police Department and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department handling the ongoing investigation.

Anyone who may have information about the attack or anyone who may have been on the Oak Hill rail trail during the early evening hours Saturday can contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department at 304-574-4216, the Oak Hill Police Department at 304-465-0597 or submit information through the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page.

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  • Hillbilly

    It looks like ole Tom done screwed up . A very short rope and a very tall tree are in order .

  • Fred

    Hang him.

  • Andy

    Too bad our unholy legislature hasn't had a chance to pass abortion restrictions in WV as enlightened men have done elsewhere. Its such a shame that such a beautiful, wonderful man may never get to lovingly hold his child in his arms. That would be such a shame.

    • David

      I suppose you would prefer that one victim (the mother) be authorized--in her grief-stricken state--to execute the other victim (the unborn child--if one results from this tragedy). I've never checked, but I'm pretty sure that there is no law against being conceived, and under our laws, a person cannot be punished without a law (nulla poena sine lege). What is more, SCOTUS has said that the perpetrator cannot be executed in a rape case--it's not proportionate unless the rape is accompanied by murder. So we cannot put the perpetrator of this awful crime to death, yet all you can think to complain about is the fact that some people--who apparently have more regard for justice and the law than you do--think that it ought to be illegal for a child victim to be executed for his father's crime.

  • Rita

    I have yet to see the Oak Hill Police Department monitoring by foot or bike that walking trail. Maybe they do, but not when I have been walking it.

  • imnotgivingmynametoacomputer

    I'm on the trail everyday. It is a complete and utter lie that the policeman patrol it. The police in this town are worthless.

  • Sparks

    Im on the trail every day, rain or shine. I have been given dirty looks by people afraid of my dog. My dog will not harm anyone unless they get too close to me. He watches body language, same as I do. People can continue with the dirty looks, I will not hit that trail without him. We all need to take precautions to protect ourselves. If a person is afraid of a firearm, then take a self defense class and carry pepper spray. The more I think about this, the angrier I get. Our policemen are busy enough with the ridiculous amount of crime going on around here, they cant be expected to be on the trail too. It doesnt even get mowed for goodness sakes. Pay close attention to the people you see on the trail, take precautions, we need to feel safe enjoying our walks, runs, and rides. And lastly, prayers for the victim and her family. That is a long, hard journey, may God give you the peace you need to heal...

  • Concerned

    I'm on that trail often and I have never, once, seen an officer on the trail on bike or foot.

    • Norma L

      I've lived near this trail for many years and have never seen any law enforcement personnel on or around the trail. I can understand what Whisman is saying - but you'd think you'd see them at least once or twice if they were really patrolling the area.

      This used to be such a nice little town.

      'Oak Hill Police Chief Mike Whisman said such violence is shocking. “This is an extremely unusual event to occur on our Rails-To-Trails exercise path. The Oak Hill Police Department regularly patrols this exercise path, both on foot and by bicycle patrol. Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere at once,” he said.'

  • Jin N Charleston

    Looks like Eustace Conway off of "Mountain Men"

    I'm Jim N NC
    All I got

    • Ole Sasquatch

      You know, now that you mention it, I believe he does look a little like Eustace; but he would never leave his property. Anyway, if this is the one; I'm glad this guy got caught. Good work.

  • Tracyo64

    "...Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere at once,”
    Yet another good reason for a carry permit and proper training.

    • Katydids

      My CCP expires July 1, and this just reminded me that I need to renew now. Obtaining a CCP is a bit pricey initially, but well worth the price as this crime proves. Renewal costs nearly nothing and could save your life!

      Everyone should take the training, apply for the permit, and carry concealed, particularly when they are planning to be in isolated areas alone.

    • Becka86

      Totally agree! Then we can protect ourselves from sick people like this.