If he's guilty of raping and strangling a 15-year-old girl, a 19-year-old Sioux Falls man could spend 50 years in prison. Police arrested Karwo Solo Wednesday night after a girl reported the crime at a Sioux Falls fire station.
Solo is charged with second degree rape, fourth degree rape and aggravated assault. But in court Thursday afternoon he denied those charges saying he and the girl got into an argument and when the victim started hitting him. He shoved her so she would stop.
Solo’s attorney says the reports show that the victim had swelling on her face but there are no notes in the report that there were signs of sexual penetration.
Authorities say Solo threatened the victim with a belt and the 15-year-old victim says he strangled her before raping her.
"They met up at that apartment. Once they were inside the apartment, he ended up forcing himself onto her. She was able to get away from him and ran next door to the fire station," Sam Clemens with Sioux Falls Police said.
Police say the victim went to the fire station on Sycamore Avenue to report the alleged crime.
Fire stations are a place people can go if they feel like they are in trouble.
"We've had people show up for domestic abuse. We've had kids show up when their parents are having medical problems. Firefighters are trained in that so if someone comes here seeking help we can help them," Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said.
Sideras says if you are in trouble you should always first try to call 911 but if you can't you can go to the fire station.
Sideras didn't specifically talk about the rape report received Wednesday but he did say that fire stations are designated safe places because they are in every part of town and firefighters are there almost all the time.
"Once you're in the fire station it's a secure building because the doors are all locked and then we can contact law enforcement and help them work through those problems," Sideras said.
Police say that's exactly what happened in this case and that's why Solo is now behind bars.
Solo is being held in jail on a $50,000 bond.