DNA links suspect to attempted rape near UK campus

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Police say they have arrested a man accused of trying to rape a woman near the UK campus.

Court documents show Christopher Releford, 32, has been charged with attempted rape and assault.

We've been tracking this case since September, when a woman told police she was attacked on East Maxwell Street. The victim told police she cut the suspect several times, even stabbing him in the chest, with a pocket knife she was carrying.

Police now say Releford showed up at hospital in Harrodsburg the same day as the attack, to be treated for cuts.

The Mercer County Sheriff's Office says Releford claimed he was attacked while stopping to help a stranded motorist change a tire. After questioning him, court documents show police were able to match Releford's DNA with blood found at the scene of the attack.

"She was scared, but she got throught it ok," explained the victim's friend, Kirsten Bhattacharyya. "We think she's a badass."

Bhattacharyya says police officers commended her friend for fighting back.

"They were like 'We love this girl--she actually fought back for once!'"

Lexington Police say Releford's DNA will be added to a national registry for sex offenders. They say they will compare it to other cases across the nation that are still unsolved.

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