Following Tuesday's arrest of a teenager Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright called a "serial rapist," many were left breathing a sigh of relief.
And according to counselors, the whole community became victims of the suspect's reported crime spree - not just the women who were attacked.
For some in this community, the assaults have reopened some painful scars that won't just close that easy.
As reports of multiple attacks for nearly a month came in, the news was especially horrifying for a group of women already victimized by sexual assault in the past.
A spokeswoman with Safe Homes Rape Crisis Coalition said the true number of victims suspect 19-year-old Rodney Davis Jr. damaged is in the thousands, as the community was also victims of fear.
"This man victimized our entire community, not just the women he put his hands on, but every woman who lives in this community had that thought in her mind when she went anywhere," said Lynn Hawkins, with Safe Homes.
Authorities said even with Davis behind bars, women need to take their safety into their own hands.
"I am pro-CWP [concealed weapons permit], you need to arm yourself in case you need to use it, it can give you a sense of being secure," said the female investigator who helped arrest Davis.
For now, with the suspect in custody, many in the community said they are resting easier.
"I think Spartanburg has a peace to them, everybody is kind of sighing," said Lawrence Mills, a local resident.
Safe Homes Rape Crisis Coalition said this case can make recovery difficult for victims of other cases.
Hawkins said there were 598 sexual assaults in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties in 2011 and the coalition offers counseling for all victims.
Davis is being held in Spartanburg County where he faces several charges. Cherokee County deputies said he will face charges in connection with a rape in Cowpens as well.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:20:45 GMT
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