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Woman's rape jars Dilworth residents

Dilworth residents are on edge as Charlotte-Mecklenburg police search for three men who kidnapped a 22-year-old woman from East Boulevard and raped her on the side of a nearby road.

The woman was walking alone about 10:30 p.m. Friday in the 600 block of East Boulevard when a man forced her into the bed of a dark green pickup full of paint supplies, according to a police report. The victim told police the man and two others drove her to an open area off South Boulevard where they raped her.

The woman, who was abducted just as the annual Greek Festival wrapped up for the night, reported the incident about two hours later. She was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where she was hospitalized with serious injuries, the report said.

Police Tuesday did not provide more details. CMPD Sgt. Darrell Price, a supervisor in the sexual assault unit, could not be reached Tuesday afternoon. Detective Michael Melendez, who is investigating the case, also could not be reached Tuesday evening.

The crime happened about a year after Jose Rivera, a 26-year-old illegal immigrant, was accused of raping three women in a series of attacks in Dilworth and Myers Park over a span of two years.

It's unclear if Friday's incident is an isolated case.

After the crime was reported, officers who work in Dilworth sent an e-mail alert to businesses with information and a request for residents to be on the lookout for the suspects.

“Everyone is devastated for this victim,” said Lori Raible, co-chair of the Dilworth Crime Coalition. “It just reminds us that our job isn't done. Crime is an issue. We have work to do. And we still have to keep our guard up.”