After three sexual assaults were reported to University and Ann Arbor Police over Labor Day weekend, a student reported that a similarly described suspect suspiciously touched her on Friday.
A student told University Police that on Friday at about 6 p.m., a male suspect approached her and talked to her in Chinese at the Michigan League. The suspect and student then walked to an exterior bench near the Modern Languages Building, where the suspect allegedly rubbed the student’s outer thigh and grabbed her cell phone.
The student took her cell phone back and left the area. She reported the incident to police at about 11 p.m. Friday and described the suspect as a 5’8” Chinese male with short black hair, who appeared to be about 25 years old and reportedly spoke with a heavy accent.
The description of the suspect from Friday’s alleged assault is most similar to that of the sexual assault reported at the University’s Museum of Natural History, where the suspect also spoke with a heavy accent and in Chinese and had a similar physical description.
Diane Brown, University Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, said University Police do believe Friday’s suspect is similar to the sexual assault at the museum, but aren’t making any connections to the other incidents at Michigan Stadium and at the corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Hill Street.
“There seems to be (a suspect) potentially matching the previous Friday’s (sexual assault) at Ruthven,” Brown said.
Unlike the other three incidents, Friday’s report is not being classified by police as fourth degree criminal sexual conduct, a form of sexual assault, because Michigan law does not classify the outer thigh as an “intimate part” that would be subject to the fourth-degree classification.
Rather, the suspect would have had to touch the inner thigh of the student or another body part subject to the statue in order for the incident to be classified as fourth degree CSC, Brown said.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated when the incident took place and was reported.