Man charged with raping woman on Greyhound bus in Bradley County

photo Timothy Leon Smith

A woman reported she was forcibly raped on a Greyhound bus traveling through Bradley County on Friday, and her alleged attacker was arrested when the bus stopped in Chattanooga.

The woman said she was raped by Timothy Leon Smith, 48, whose address is in Dublin, Ga. The victim is from Alabama. It is Times Free Press policy not to identify victims of sexual assault.

The woman told police she was traveling from Kentucky when Smith, traveling from Michigan, began to talk to her and another passenger at the Knoxville bus station. When they reboarded the bus at Knoxville, the woman said, Smith sat next to her in the back seat, where they talked for about an hour.

About 15 minutes after a bus stop in Athens, the woman said Smith reached over and unzipped her pants, according to the affidavit. From there, he touched her and forced her to touch him, before pulling her onto him and forcibly raping her.

The woman said she was so scared she did not know what to do, and that when it was over, Smith "told her she better not tell anyone what happened and that no one could prove anything," according to the police incident report.

A passenger sitting in front of the pair said she could tell they were having sex, and that the woman looked scared. The woman later confided to the passenger that she had been raped, the affidavit said.

An off-duty bus driver sitting in the front of the bus also said he observed the couple having sex. When the bus stopped in Chattanooga, he confronted the woman and told her that kind of behavior wasn't allowed. The woman then told him she had been raped, and the witness confirmed her story, the report stated.

Chattanooga police were called and contacted Bradley County officers to collect evidence.

Smith denied having sex with the woman and told police that any sexual activity had been consensual.

Smith was booked into the Bradley County Jail on a charge of rape. The police report said he has an arrest history of robbery, distribution of heroin and various other charges.