GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man was arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a female jogger in southeast Grand Rapids.
The Grand Rapids Police Department said the incident happened around 6 a.m. Thursday on Rowland Avenue SE near the intersection of East Paris Avenue SE and Burton Street SE.
The victim, a 25-year-old Grand Rapids woman, said she was jogging in the area when she was grabbed by a stranger, dragged into some woods and sexually assaulted. After the suspect ran away, the victim was able to call for help, according to GRPD.
Investigators were able to determine the suspect lived in the area. Sedekie Jabateh, 25, was arrested and taken to the Kent County jail, police said.
“The detectives and the road patrol officers did a really good job on following up on information that they had, ultimately identifying him as the suspect and making the arrest,” GRPD Sgt. Dan Adams told News 8 Tuesday, though he would not specify what evidence led police to Jabateh, saying that information would come out in court.
Jabateh was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration and lying to a peace officer during the investigation of a violent crime. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
The police department is asking anyone with information about this case to call investigators at 616.456.3380 or or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345. Adams said that it’s not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to delay coming forward. He urged anyone else who was attacked to contact the department.
“We just want anyone to know that if they that if they have experienced a sexual assault, whether it may be related to this case or completely not, the Grand Rapids Police Department is here, ready to stand by to help, there are a number of services available in our community and we stand ready to help walk anybody through the process so they can move from victim to survivor,” Adams said. “…You are not alone.”
Adams said that especially in the early morning or late at night, runners should remember to stick to busy paths where other people are likely to be around and to well-lit areas. He added that runners should be aware, make sure their cellphone has the GPS on and tell other people where they will be.
“But regardless of what you do to prevent it, this should never happen to anybody,” Adams said.