St. Clair County prosecutors on Friday charged a suspect in connection with two reported sexual assaults — one Sunday on a Belleville bike trail and one last year in a Belleville alley.
Prosecutors charged Marlon M. Humphries, 22, of Belleville with one count of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault.
The victim in Sunday’s attack, a 56-year-old woman, said she was walking home from the League Lounge in the 1500 block of West Main St. at about 1:30 a.m. when she was approached by a black man who was about 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 who pushed her to the ground. She said the man grabbed her by the throat and said, “you are going to give it to me.”
Detective Sgt. Mark Heffernan said evidence gathered at the scene of Sunday’s attack and the efforts of detectives who canvassed the area led them to develop Humphries as a suspect.
In the aggravated criminal sexual assault charges stemming from the 2014 attack, Humphries is accused of forcing a 52-year-old woman to have sex on Oct. 18, 2014. The woman told police she was riding her bike near 11th and West D streets and she heard footsteps behind her. She said she was pulled off her bike, dragged into an alley and sexually assaulted in a grassy area. The victim said the suspect ordered her to perform a sex act. She said she ran to her bike and fled the scene while the suspect was getting dressed after the attack.
Heffernan called the attacks “violent, predatory and unprovoked.” He said detectives pursued leads in the 2014 case but “eventually the case went cold pending analysis of the forensic evidence collected” during that assault.
The crime lab happened to be working on the 2014 case this week and we received information back on that case as a coincidence
Belleville Police Detective Sgt. Mark Heffernan
Heffernan said Humphries was arrested on suspicion of the Sunday assault on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, the Illinois State Police crime lab, which is located at West Main and 23rd streets in Belleville, told police forensic evidence obtained in the 2014 assault pointed to Humphries as the attacker.
“The crime lab happened to be working on the 2014 case this week, and we received information back on that case as a coincidence,” Heffernan said.
He said he didn’t know under what circumstances Humphries initially was logged into the crime database.
When questioned by Belleville police, Humphries admitted to both attacks, according to a police affidavit.
This is an example of some outstanding police work by the Belleville Police Department. We would not be here charging a case from 2014 as well as charging the case from this last week had it not been for their efforts
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly urged sexual assault victims who may have been attacked by Humphries to come forward.
“We all know that most sexual assaults involve an acquaintance. Someone in the same social circle, someone who is a boyfriend or a family member or someone you know from work,” Kelly said. “It is really very rare to see an offense where someone is victimized by someone they do not know, that is purely predatory in nature.
“This is an example of some outstanding police work by the Belleville Police Department,” he said. “We would not be here charging a case from 2014 as well as charging the case from this last week had it not been for their efforts.”