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PORTAGE — A woman told police that others were nearby Monday night as she was being raped outside a vehicle at Countryside Park by a man she knew, but no one came to her aid.

It was not until after the woman reported the alleged offense about 6 p.m. that police tracked down Edward Baker and took the 24-year-old into custody on preliminary felony charges of rape and sexual battery.

The woman told police she drove to the park at 5250 U.S. 6 to meet Baker, who she described as a platonic friend who occasionally provides her with money, police said.

"In the past the two have never had any sort of sexual contact and she said the money he would give her was just as gifts, not payment for sexual favors," police said.

The woman said she and Baker arrived in separate vehicles at the park and exited their vehicles, according to police. Baker reportedly attempted to give the woman some money and several checks that had been made out with his wife's information.

She refused to take the checks out of concern of getting in trouble since they were not made out to her, police said. This angered Baker, who reportedly pushed her up against her vehicle and pulled down her pants "while she is screaming for him to stop."

He then sexually assaulted her, police said.

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"While this is happening she said there were people around (walking on the trail and in their vehicles), but no one came to help her," according to the police report.

She eventually broke free from his grip and fled inside her vehicle, at which time Baker repeatedly apologized and then left for work, police said.

The woman then called 911 for help.

Police did not find Baker at home but were given his phone number and work place information.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.