Sexual assault reported on popular Lumpkin County trail

- Deputies in Lumpkin County are searching for a sexual predator after receiving a report of a rape of a 19–year-old University of North Georgia student on a popular lake trail.

It happened on the trail around Lake Zwerner, a popular spot just outside of Dahlonega, where people go fishing, kayak, relax, and to get on the Trail.

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"You should always be with someone else and don't go by yourself take some pepper spray," said Cary Pilgrim, who was on the trail with her friend Diana Fleming.

The Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office said they received the report from the UNG student Wednesday night.

"He assaulted her and then he kept walking around the trail. She came back to the city and reported she'd been raped," said Lt. Chris Pfrongner with the Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office.

Pfrongner said the victim had been running around the three-mile lake trail Wednesday night when she noticed a man following her before he raped her. Lt. Pfronger said the assault occurred about a mile and a half into the trail.

"There were no weapons involved. She stated that he threw her to the ground. On the trail is what she stated," said Lt. Pfrongner.

Carly Harrison, an UNG student said she has had an uneasy feeling since she heard of the rape.

"It's really scary it makes me feel a lot more unsafe in Dahlonega and to be in the area," said Harrison.

Investigators advise people, especially women, to buddy up when jogging or walking whether in Dahlonega or on the lake trail where the attack occurred.

"I hope he is caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I hope she gets her day in court with him," said Diana Fleming, one of the trail users Friday night.

The sheriff's office said the victim described the attacker as a white man in late 20s to 40s with short brown hair, a beard, and black shirt.

Lt. Flogner said investigators will work with the victim to get a Georgia Bureau of Investigation composite sketch of the attacker.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office.

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