Charges dismissed in kidnapping, attempted rape case

Charges have been dismissed against a man arrested last year after police said he tried to rape a woman that he wanted to “steal” and force to become his wife.

Kung Bik Cem, of Tucker, Georgia, had been charged with attempted rape, criminal confinement and theft after an incident last year where police said a state trooper found Cem trying to rape a woman in the backseat of his car.

Cem told the state trooper he had met the woman on Facebook and fallen in love with her, but she had become disinterested in him. He came to Southport to find her at a family wedding she was attending and planned to “steal” her and force her to come back to Georgia with him.

Late last year, the charges against Cem were dismissed after the woman in the case moved out of state, meaning prosecutors were not able to subpoena her to testify, Johnson County Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Bland said.

The woman is essential to the case, Bland said.

If the woman does return, prosecutors can refile charges at that time if the statute of limitations has not run out, he said.

The case began after state police received a report of a disturbance on the side of southbound Interstate 65 between Whiteland and Franklin on March 25. The trooper heard a woman screaming and saw that she was partially undressed and that the man’s pants were down. After the trooper got Cem off of her and the woman was able to get out of the car, she crumpled over on the side of the road crying, according to police reports.

In interviews with state police at the time, Cem repeatedly explained his excitement about his plan of stealing his future wife and justified his actions by explaining that in his culture, this action was allowed and customary, the report said.

The two had never met before. The woman told police she had tried to end the relationship, but Cem wouldn’t leave her alone. At the wedding, Cem took her cellphone as a way to get her to come with him. He then drove away, with the woman asking repeatedly to be let go, trying to grab the steering wheel or shift the car into park, eventually forcing Cem to stop on the side of the interstate. Cem then dragged her into the backseat of his vehicle so she couldn’t get out, held her down and said he was going to get her pregnant so that she would be forced to marry him, according to police reports.

A protective order in the case was also terminated, according to court records.

Cem could have faced up to 16 years on the felony attempted rape charge.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.