Man, 18, arrested in connection with area sexual assault and series of gropings
In at least five cases, an assailant followed women from one of three parks and accosted them outside their homes or on the street, police said.
San Diego police arrested an 18-year-old man suspected in a recent series of gropings, indecent exposures and a sexual assault in the La Jolla/University City area.
Officers arrested the suspect, Iniabasi Aniekeme Udom, when they saw him leaving his home in Carmel Valley, police Lt. Paul Phillips said March 16.
Investigators with search warrants looked through his home and vehicle and found what police said was additional evidence of the crimes.
“We feel very strongly that this is the suspect,” Phillips said.
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Seven incidents — some described as sexual battery and indecent exposure — targeted women who were jogging or working out in January and into mid-February.
One of the encounters was serious enough to be considered a felony, police said. The rest were considered misdemeanors.
Last month, San Diego police released images of the suspect in hopes that someone would step forward with his name. At that time, police said they were investigating five incidents, all in February.
In those five cases, an assailant followed women from one of three parks — La Jolla Community Park in La Jolla and Doyle Community Park and Nobel Athletic Park in University City — and accosted them outside their homes or on the street.
Investigators also reached out to UC San Diego police, who did some research and provided Udom’s name as someone San Diego police might want to look at. Phillips said campus police had come across Udom after someone reported seeing him behaving oddly. He is not a student at the university.
Police said Udom was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, sexual battery and indecent exposure. ◆