Rape Suspect Facing New Charges

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Authorities say a local man allegedly kidnapped and raped a woman on Thursday and this is not the suspect's first run-in with the law.

Darren Houston was accused of raping a 22-year old woman in Meridian in 2010, but a jury found him not guilty and he was released. Now, he is facing similar charges. Investigators say Houston was arrested Thursday on kidnapping and rape charges.

Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says the rape happened on a gravel road located next to Meridian Stockyard on Old Highway 80. Calhoun tells Newscenter 11 that it all started with the suspect asking the victim for a ride.

"It was cold yesterday morning," Calhoun says. "She was walking to work. She took him up on his offer for a ride. Instead of taking her to work, he took her outside of the city limits. And based upon our investigation and upon her statement, she was raped."

Calhoun says while it is not the victim's fault that the incident took place, he says it's not a good idea to accept rides from strangers, regardless of whether someone appears to have good intentions.

Houston remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility. Bond has been set at $50,000 for the kidnapping charge and $50,000 for the rape charge.