COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — An Iranian man is accused of groping multiple women while riding a bicycle near Loyola University.
When police arrested Soroush Aflaki, 22, he told officers "he only did this three times in one night," Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing Friday.
Aflaki faces charges of aggravated battery in a public place.
According to prosecutors, the first incident happened about 10 p.m. Sept. 6 as a 25-year-old woman walked home in the 6100 block of North Leavitt Street. The victim heard a bicycle approaching on the sidewalk and moved to the side to let the rider pass, Antonietti said.
That's when Aflaki allegedly groped the woman. The victim shouted, prosecutors said, and Aflaki turned around and shrugged.
About 2 ½ hours later, on Sept. 7, Aflaki groped a 19-year-old Loyola student who was walking home from the library in the 6300 block of North Winthrop Avenue, Antonietti said.
While riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, Aflaki grabbed the woman once from behind, prosecutors said. The woman said, "Don't touch me!" and moved aside, according to Antonietti.
At that point, Aflaki allegedly groped the woman again. She began chasing him — grabbing his shirt and pulling him to the ground, prosecutors said. But Aflaki was soon able to get back on his bike and ride away.
Prosecutors believe Aflaki groped multiple women on September 6-7.
However, prosecutors made no mention of similar incidents that occurred on Sept. 8 and Sept. 18, although police have said they believe the same person was responsible for all of the attacks.
Police issued a community alert based on multiple complaints, Antonietti said, and campus officers began reviewing security footage to find the man on the bicycle.
Officers spotted Aflaki, who matched the description of the attacker, about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 6300 block of North Winthrop Avenue. He was arrested and told police he'd only groped three women on one evening, Antonietti said.
According to his public defender, Aflaki is an Iranian native who's only been in Chicago for three months. He works as a dishwasher at the Publican, the attorney said.
Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan ordered Aflaki held in lieu of $100,000 bail, and banned the man from Loyola University's campus pending trial.
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