Man recently released from prison accused of rape in Tempe; found dead in apparent suicide

TEMPE, AZ - Authorities say a man accused of raping a woman walking home from work near Mill Avenue was found dead in his jail cell Saturday in an apparent suicide.

Tempe police Sgt. Michael Pooley said 23-year-old Lane Halona was arrested after the victim called police and led them to where Halona had passed out.

The attack happened around 4:30 a.m. in an alley near 1st Street and Farmer Avenue on March 17, according to Pooley.

He said the woman ignored Halona, but Halona hit her in the head and knocked her to the ground where he brutally sexually assaulted her.

Pooley said Halona eventually passed out, which gave the victim time to run away and call police.

When police arrived Halona told them he didn't remember anything, but admitted the property he was on was not his.

Halona was released from federal prison three days before the alleged attack. Halona was serving 23 months for aggravated assault.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Halona was found unresponsive around 4 p.m. Saturday at his cell at the Lower Buckeye Jail.

The incident is being investigated as a suicide, MCSO said.

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