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Serial Rapist in Lincoln Park? 3 Sexual Assaults in Area in 2 Weeks

By  Alex Nitkin Kelly Bauer and Mina Bloom | August 20, 2015 8:11am | Updated on August 21, 2015 8:46am

 Police released this image of a man they suspect assaulted a woman on DePaul's campus.
Police released this image of a man they suspect assaulted a woman on DePaul's campus.
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Chicago Police Department

LINCOLN PARK — Police released an image of a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman on DePaul University's Lincoln Park campus early Thursday morning, police said.

She is the third woman to report a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault by a similar man since Aug. 9, police said.

Around 1:40 a.m., the 21-year-old was returning to her car near DePaul's Wish Field in the 900 block of West Belden Avenue when a man knocked her to the ground and sexually assaulted her, according to Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police spokesman. She screamed and the man ran away.

The woman was brought to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where she was listed in good condition, Estrada said, and no one is in custody.

This is the latest of three assaults or attempted assaults in the area recently in which victims described a similar-looking man, according to a community alert issued by police Thursday morning. A woman was grabbed and assaulted on Aug. 9 and another woman was walking home on Aug. 15 when a man came up behind her and assaulted her, though she was able to fight him off, according to police.

During each of the assaults, a woman was walking alone to her home or was at her home's entryway when she was attacked, according to police.

The attacker is a man with olive skin who is possibly white or Hispanic, according to police. He is 24 to 25 years old, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-9 and 160-180 pounds with dark, short hair. He was last seen wearing a polo shirt with white and dark horizontal stripes and jeans cuffed at the bottom.

Thursday afternoon Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) whose 43rd ward includes the incidents, said in an email to constituents that she was "extremely concerned" that the police notification was sent to her office "significantly later than [she] would have expected."

She said her office has begun outreach to the areas where the assaults occurred and was distributing a flier with more information.

Chicago Police did not immediately comment on why they waited before issuing the community alert.

The assaults occurred:

• 3:45 a.m. Aug. 9 in the 1900 block of North Bissell Street

• 12:25 a.m. Aug. 15 in the 100 block of West Goethe Street

• 1:40 a.m. Aug. 20 in the 900 block of West Belden Avenue

Police asked anyone with information about the incidents to call 312-747-8380. They also can call DePaul Public Safety at 773-325-7777.

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