Security guard charged with coercing alleged shoplifter into sex

By Janice Broach - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A security guard at an east Memphis grocery store was arrested and charged with rape after he allegedly caught a customer he said was shoplifting, and then coerced her into having sex.

The victim, April Hall, says the incident happened at the Kroger at Poplar and Highland. At the time, Hall had just bought groceries, and was headed out the door.  It was then, she said, that security guard Geryl Hill stopped her and her friend, saying she had a box of toothpaste in her purse.

"I knew he was serious when he told me to go upstairs to the room to the office to search us," she said.

Hall said Geryl Hill let her friend go after searching her purse.  But he told her he was going to call the police.

"I was really scared," she said.

Hall claims Hill then told the other security guard to leave.

"After everybody left the room, that's when he asked me would I do sexual favors for him for not calling the police," Hall said. "I agreed if he let me go home and put my groceries up."

Hall said she agreed so the guard would let her go, but while he was trying to make the deal, he began touching her inappropriately.

Hall said she never went back, and Hill started sending her text messages the next day.  He sent her at least 20, asking where she was and telling her places to meet him.

Hill apparently got her number off her phone during the initial incident.

"I'm not the first person, and I know I'm not, because he was too comfortable," she said. "Anybody that happened to, I want them to come forward."

Police charged Hill with rape and sexual battery by an authority figure.

Hall, meanwhile, claims she didn't take the toothpaste. She wants the man she says attacked her to stay behind bars.

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