LEXINGTON — A Mercer County man has been charged with attempted rape and assault stemming from a September attack on a University of Kentucky student.
Christopher Releford, 32, contacted Mercer County police on Sept. 7, claiming he had been assaulted after he stopped to help a stranded motorist in Salvisa. He reported to police that the suspect had asked for his wallet, stabbed him and attempted to cut his face before driving away.
“We found holes in that story from point A,” Mercer County Chief Deputy Sheriff Scott Elder said.
The same morning, a female student at UK had contacted police after she said a man jumped her from behind, attempting to tear at her clothes. The student turned on the assailant, stabbing him in the chest and aiming for his face.
Elder said after learning about the student’s story, Mercer authorities contacted Lexington police and the two forces began working “hand in hand” on the case.
A DNA sample of Releford was obtained during an interview with Mercer authorities, which was then matched against the DNA on the student’s knife. It was a match, prompting Lexington police to arrest Releford and charge him with attempted rape and assault. He is lodged in the Fayette County Detention Center.
Mercer County police are looking into the possibility of also charging Releford with falsely reporting an incident, Elder said.
“He caused alarm. It put everybody on edge, and it wasn’t needed,” he said.