Sexual assault just latest in recent downtown attacks

Daylight assault one of many recent downtown attacks
Published: Jun. 4, 2013 at 6:02 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2013 at 9:14 PM EDT
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Composite sketch of the suspect
Composite sketch of the suspect

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Investigators with the Charleston Police Department have released a sketch of a man accused of sexually assaulting a female victim near the College of Charleston campus.

Police say on Tuesday at 9:40 a.m., the victim was walking in the area of 24 Bull Street when she saw a man exposing himself.

A police report states as the victim continued walking east on Bull Street, the suspect walked up behind the victim, grabbed her and sexually assaulted her.

There has been several similar attacks within recent months downtown.

On March 27th, a woman reported having to fight off an attacker who tried to sexually assault her on Bogard St.

On April 4th and 5th, Charleston Police received two separate reports of women claiming to be victims of attempted kidnappings.  Those incidents allegedly happened at Coming St. & the Crosstown and also an alleyway along King St.

The College of Charleston campus alert system noted that a suspect dragged a woman to the rear of the parking lot at 99 St. Philip St. in a possible attempt to sexually assault her.  The alert said the woman was able to escape.

On Sunday, 50-year-old Michael Gorham is accused of groping and choking an 18-year-old student in the morning hours along King St.

Charleston Police Sgt. Trevor Shelor says women need to remain alert and aware while in public at all hours.

"If something looks wrong, it probably is," he says.  "Get to a safer place, have your phone handy and call the police to come check out what it is."

Sgt. Shelor says women can prevent their chances of becoming victimized by using the buddy system, remaining sober and understanding the danger of traveling after dark.

"Know that the later at night you go, the greater your risk of encountering something bad," he says.

Anyone with information on the Bull St. assault is asked to call CRIME STOPPERS  at 554-1111.

Police describe the suspect as a white male, between 5'10" to 5'11", medium build, with sandy blond hair (surfer style), blue or hazel eyes between the ages of 20 and 30 years old.

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