A prison inmate who walked away from a work release job in Raleigh on Friday was being investigated for another crime after a woman accused him of raping her the night before.
Authorities said at 3955 New Bern Ave., around 12:45 p.m. Friday. He was caught about three hours later.
A woman said she was raped at about 1 a.m. Friday by Wilcher in the bathroom at the same Burger King. The woman went to the hospital, had a rape kit done and reported the crime to police.
“I said no the whole time. I said, ‘Can you please stop?‘ All he had was a smile on his face,” the woman, who asked not to be identified, said. “I sat there and cried because I couldn’t justify what happened. I was scared. He made me feel like a little girl, like I couldn’t do anything.”
The accuser said she had previously met Wilcher, but they were never in any kind of relationship. She had driven to Burger King to give him a ride when the rape occurred, she said.
The accuser‘s grandmother, Joan Quiller, said the inmate locked the door and raped her granddaughter.
Witnesses said that when Wilcher arrived for work Friday, he learned from co-workers that Raleigh police wanted to talk to him in reference to a sexual assault and he fled.
“Every time she closes her eyes and goes to sleep, she sees his face and sees him laughing, how he was laughing at her while he was raping her,” Quiller said.
“To be honest with you, I really wanted to end it, but I just thought about my kids,” the accuser said.
Wilcher was a minimum-security inmate serving a three-year, drug-related sentence. He has previous convictions for assault with a deadly weapon on a government employee and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to state Department of Public Safety records.
He has been moved to a higher security facility and will face charges for his escape, authorities said.
WRAL has reached out to Raleigh police and the Department of Public Safety, which oversees the prisons. Prison officials said they were not made aware that Wilcher was under investigation for rape until after he escaped.
“I was angry. You mean to tell me I went to the hospital that night, the cops were called and no one said anything to the prison? They let him go,” the accuser said.
Raleigh police confirmed they responded to the hospital early Friday morning about the reported rape. They said the case remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.