ROANOKE, Va. – A brutal attack in Downtown Roanoke left Blaine Sirry fighting for her life after she said she was beaten, raped, and left for dead.
“I didn’t feel like me, I didn’t look like me, I wasn’t the person that I thought that I was before all this started I guess,” Sirry said.
It started as a typical night out with friends when the 41-year-old says she first met Na’im Chapman-Bey at a bar.
“When I walked out I got about halfway down to Fork in the Market when the guy was like, ‘Hey, we’re going the same way,’ and decided he wanted to walk with me,” she added.
After a few conversations that night, Chapman-Bey asked Sirry for a ride home. She agreed.
“My car started overheating about the time we got to his house,” Sirry said. “I had been driving my dad’s car and occasionally you have to put a little coolant or whatever in it, so I had planned to let the car cool off a little bit and he wanted to show me this big house he had.”
She decided to wait inside, but Sirry says she soon realized, the seemingly harmless man she met downtown, was a monster.
“I remember him saying something about listening to music and then I had hands around my neck,” she said. “He told me I was going to spread my legs.”
That’s when Sirry says she was strangled, beaten, and raped.
“I remember being naked and being like, ‘How did I end up here? Where am I at?’ Putting a shirt on that I found next to the bed and throwing up in a trash can and trying to get out,” she added.
A friend convinced her to go to the hospital and to the police.
Court documents show she reported she was assaulted and raped at Chapman-Beys home. Doctors at Roanoke Memorial Hospital told her that she had broken eye sockets along with many other injuries.
“My nose was broken. My septum was shattered, both my orbital sockets were broken, and my jaw was basically out of socket. My cheekbone is missing. There was so much of it and it was hit with so much force that basically there was blood and pieces of bone behind my eyes,” Sirry recalled.
48-year-old Chapman-Bey was arrested and charged with strangulation, malicious wounding, and attempted rape.
Sirry was in court when the prosecutor read a report. It revealed Chapman-Bey told police that they had consensual sex. She left the courtroom in tears.
“It makes me feel dirty, makes me feel gross and in all honesty, I don’t think I can ever be a complete human again,” she said.
Search warrants show police collected Chapman-Bey’s DNA and seized personal electronics, bedding, carpet, and swabs from his home.
In court, the prosecutor said there was no DNA present at the time of the rape kit, which was taken two days after the attack.
“From the forensic nurse, came back showing no male DNA at that time, though it had been several days at that point and Ms. Sirry had showered and gone to the bathroom and all the expected things at that point,” Chrystal Smith, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Roanoke City said.
Smith did say the analysis indicated blood and DNA on the carpet at the defendant’s home.
Despite Sirry’s objection, the Commonwealth offered Chapman-Bey a plea deal. The attempted rape charge was dropped.
Sirry’s attorney, David Lawrence, said the Commonwealth likely dropped the attempted rape charge because, after all the analysis, it would have been hard to prove.
“I think that they decided they didn’t have enough evidence to do that. It was a weak case among all their cases, and it made sense to them to get the no-contest pleas and get the convictions and send him to the penitentiary,” Lawrence said.
Chapman-Bey pleaded no contest to the strangulation and malicious wounding charges. He was sentenced to ten years in prison and three years probation.
Not enough for Sirry, considering the injuries she received.
“In my opinion, he got off light because I’m not going to have a cheekbone for the rest of my life. It’s in pieces in the back of my head. I’m going to have to struggle and do therapy for the rest of my life for the trauma alone,” she said.
The recovery process, both mentally and physically, has been difficult.
“To be completely honest, there are days that I wish he had killed me. I still feel like everybody is looking at me like they know what happened,” she added.
Sirry is taking it one day at a time. Her goal now is to help make sure women don’t face what she did, by raising awareness that this can happen to anybody, anywhere, even in the Star City.
“I wasn’t going to sit down and let someone else have to suffer because the next one is going to be dead, and that’s not going to be on my head. I refuse to allow someone to die for something I didn’t do,” she said.
She lives to tell a cautionary tale, that’s now a survival story.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Sirry with medical expenses. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.
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