Police investigating campus sexual assault

By Kathleen Foody

A 19-year-old woman was battered and sexually assaulted early Sunday morning in a parking lot in the 1800 block of south Lincoln Avenue.

The University police department reported the suspect is described as a white male, about 20 years old with short brown hair and no facial hair. He was described as “tall and lanky,” with a “southern accent,” in an e-mail sent Sunday afternoon.

The suspect was driving a grayish-green conversion van with gray interior seating and draped windows.

When contacted Sunday afternoon, the University police department declined to comment any further on the incident.

The Champaign and University police departments have warned area residents to take safety precautions following two crimes committed in the 500 block of east Healey within the last month.

On June 14, a woman awoke to find an intruder in her apartment. The man was touching her inappropriately and fled when she became aware of him. The suspect was described as a male of tan complexion, possibly Hispanic, wearing a blue T-shirt and black shorts.

On July 6, a man attempted to sexually assault a woman in the hallway of her apartment complex. He grabbed her from behind and threatened to physically and sexually harm her.

The woman yelled for help, alerting people nearby. The suspect, described as a 25-year-old Hispanic male, weighing about 160 lbs. and approximately 5-foot-7, fled the scene.

Police believe those two crimes could have been committed by the same man.

“We can’t say that it was the same man for sure, but the descriptions are pretty close,” Champaign Lt. Brad Yohnka said Friday. “We just want everyone to be cautious and alert at all times.”

Joanna Aguirre contributed to this report.