Gang rape reported near Beale Street

(WMC-TV) - Robert Church Park sits in the shadow of FedEx Forum.  It's where a 23-year-old woman claims she was gang raped around 7:30 Tuesday night.

The allegations came as quite a shock to visitors on the much busier stretch of Beale Street, less than a block away.

"I would think there would be enough people around that kind of thing would not occur," said Mark Crosslin of Dallas.

"Tourists are drawn to this area," said Janice Crosslin.  "And one would think police would be very cognizant of families and younger women, and older women."

Memphian Algeaner Gill was not as surprised, although she hated hearing that up to four men may have been involved.

"But you got to think about it," said Gill.  "The projects is up the street and we not in some upscale community," she added.  "So, there's a lot going on through here."

The victim went to the VA Hospital following the alleged rape.  That is where she did what most victims do not.  She called police.

"It's a sad thing," said Anna Whalley with Shelby County Crime Victim Services.  "But people are afraid to report rapes."

Whalley told us many victims are embarrassed or feel that they are to blame.

"Sometimes victims are afraid of retaliation from the rapist," said Whalley.  "They may know where they live.  Particularly if they're raped in or near their homes."

In this case, police cannot release information about the woman who reported the rape.  All they could report is that the investigation is ongoing.

One of the four possible suspects is said to have black braids and a scar on the outside of one eye.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.