Sexual assault at shelter - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sexual assault at shelter

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Police are looking for a 30-year-old homeless man after investigating a reported sexual assault at a local shelter.

Iowa City police released the following information:
On March 26, police responded to the Shelter House, 331 N Gilbert St, to meet with the 20-year-old female victim of the assault. The victim reported the following:

She had been using the services provided by the shelter. She spent the previous night sleeping at the First United Methodist Church, 214 E Jefferson St, which serves as an overflow facility for the shelter. At approximately 1am (March 26), the victim awoke when the suspect pushed his hand down the front of her pants and digitally penetrated her. The suspect had his other hand beneath the victim's shirt and was fondling her breast. The victim moved to another part of the building and reported the incident the following day.

The victim was not physically injured. She was acquainted with the suspect and was able to positively identify him. As a result of the investigation, police have obtained an arrest warrant on Anthony Jerome Watson for the crime of Sexual Abuse 3rd Degree, Iowa Criminal Code 709.4 ("C" felony). Watson was born February 18, 1979. He is a black male, 5'10", 155 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. The arrest warrant is valid nationwide.

Police have been unable to locate Watson since the assault and he may have left the area. He apparently only recently arrived in Iowa City from Dubuque. Police believe he is originally from Chicago and that he has relatively recently lived in, or spent time in, other cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. Watson has had extensive negative contact with law enforcement in other jurisdictions and has demonstrated violent tendencies in the past.

Persons with knowledge of Watson's whereabouts are urged to contact law enforcement. DO NOT attempt to detain Watson.

Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest of these suspects. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS (8477). All calls are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.

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