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Police arrest suspect in rape

Jackson County Sheriff deputies arrested a man this morning suspected of kidnapping and raping a Medford woman.

At about 8:30 a.m., deputies took into custody Timothy Joseph Nunez, 53, on a complaint filed early Monday by a woman who had driven to the Medford Police Department before dawn and told officers that she had escaped after being kidnapped and raped by Nunez in a rural area near Gold Hill. Detectives investigating the case acted on a tip and found Nunez near a residence on First Avenue in Gold Hill, where he was arrested without incident, according to an officer at the scene this morning.

The complainant had been corresponding with Nunez through a church outreach program while he was serving time in prison. When he was released last week, she invited him to attend a Sunday worship service. The woman told authorities that Nunez had returned to her home around 9 p.m. and requested a ride to Gold Hill.

According to the report, during the ride Nunez forced the woman to pull over at a remote location where he raped her. She told investigators he then forced her to drive to several different automatic teller machines and withdraw money that he took and used to purchase drugs at a home in Gold Hill. The woman made her escape from the home using a spare key she kept hidden inside her car.

According to Jackson County records, Nunez is a sex offender who has failed to register with authorities in the past and has a criminal history that includes car thefts, possession of methamphetamine, driving under the influence and attempts to elude police.