A Central Point man is in jail for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl Sunday and then running off without any clothes when he was caught in the act by a witness, Medford police officials said.

A Central Point man is in jail for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl Sunday and then running off without any clothes when he was caught in the act by a witness, Medford police officials said.

Justin Levi Sheppard, 30, is held without bail in the Jackson County Jail on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree sex abuse and first-degree sexual penetration.

Lt. Bob Hansen of Medford police said Sheppard was caught attempting to rape the girl early Sunday morning while at a Tripp Street residence in Medford. The girl was passed out from alcohol consumption. A witness walked in and screamed while Sheppard was assaulting her. Sheppard fled the house wearing no clothes. Police responded with a K-9 unit to the area.

Sheppard took off down the street and looped back to the area to hide from the dog under a tarp in a backyard playhouse.

When Sheppard would not come out of his hiding spot, the dog was released and bit him. Hansen said this was done for safety reasons.

“We don't know if they have a knife or a gun or anything like that,” Hansen said of individuals who hide from the police and won't come out. “We have reason to do it for the officers' safety.”

—Ryan Pfeil