U of I Freshman Says She Was Assaulted in Dorm Shower

Attacker may be a homeless man, university police say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    flickr.com, stevendepolo

    A University of Illinois freshman says she was sexually assaulted while taking a shower in her residence hall on Monday.

    The woman, a freshman from the Chicago area, was was kicked in the head during the attack and was treated and released from an area hospital, said University of Illinois police Lt. Roy Acree.

    The student told police she was showering in a fourth floor bathroom of Forbes Hall, at 101 E. Gregory Dr., in Champaign, when the man grabbed her and sexually abused her, a campus alert reported

    The man fled down the dorm’s east stairwell after she screamed for help while struggling with him.

    "I’ve been here since 1988 and don’t recall something like this,” Acree said. “We’ve had sexual assaults on campus, but not at five-till-eleven in the morning," he said.

    The attacker was described as a black man more than 40 years old.  He stood about 5-feet, 11-inches tall and weighed between 170 and 180 pounds with a slim to medium build, according to the alert.  He was wearing a grey non-puffy jacket and dark weathered boot-type shoes and may be homeless, the alert said.

    Someone else in the hall reported seeing another unknown person on the floor around the time of the attack, but police do not yet know if that individual is connected to the incident, the release said. The second man is described as a black man between the ages of 20 and 30, who stood about 5-feet, 9-inches tall.  He had a medium build and was wearing a black jacket with red writing and black pants.

    No one is in custody Tuesday but officials are following up on a number of leads, Acree said. U of I police and Champaign police along with the Champaign County Sheriff’s office canvassed the campus immediately following the incident.

    Students and community members are asked to report any suspicious activity -- including people in residence halls who do not appear to be residents or authorized guests -- to 911.

    U of I police are investigating the incident as an aggravated sexual abuse case and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 217-333-1216 or through CrimeStoppers at 217-373-TIPS.