It was a brutal assault in Downtown Visalia. A 56-year-old woman left to die in the street Monday morning. Police say she was beat up and possibly raped. Now she's in the hospital, clinging to life.
Jason Salazer with Visalia Police said, "We're just hoping she recovers and we pull forward in our investigation."
If she was raped, it'll be the city's 41st case this year. A 54% increase in the number of cases over 2010. It sounds alarming but Salazar says there's more to it, "We're not seeing an increase in the crime... what we are seeing is people are reporting them more frequently."
The number of reports are growing in Tulare County as well. Jennifer Noelani Boteilho with Family Services says 350 victims came forward in the county this fiscal year. That's a hundred more than the previous year.
Boteilho said, "We did a tremendous effort in talking to people about what our services are,how to report and why it's important to report and in turn we saw a spike in some of the numbers."
As for Monday's assault, police know who the victim is but can't release her name. Still, there are a lot of other questions; what was she doing in the streets at 4 in the morning? Who attacked her and why? Investigators are hoping someone will come forward with the answers.
If you have any information you should call Visalia Police.
Police say the majority of rape victims are assaulted by people they know in a date-rape type of situation.