Police have arrested a man who they say beat and sexually assaulted a Temple University student in an academic hall last month, an attack that left the victim unconscious and hospitalized.
Steven Holmes, 18, who lived in the 1900 block of North 11th Street on the edge of Temple's campus, was picked up last month on an outstanding warrant issued after he escaped from a juvenile detention facility, Chief of Detectives Keith Sadler said yesterday.
Sadler would not comment on Holmes' criminal history. Court records show he was incarcerated on assault charges from this summer.
Sadler said that a DNA profile of the man who sexually assaulted the Temple student matched a DNA sample taken from Holmes last month.
Holmes is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, aggravated indecent assault, attempted rape, robbery, and related offenses.
Police said the assault took place between 6 and 7 p.m. Nov. 1, while classes were in session, inside Anderson Hall at 11th and Berks Streets, close to where Holmes lived and close to a relative's home where he was picked up on the warrant.
The assailant jumped the 22-year-old victim from behind and covered her face as he pulled her into a third-floor men's room of the 12-story building.
"She was brutally beaten. She was beaten into unconsciousness," Sadler said. "This is really a horrific kind of crime to a defenseless complainant. She was attacked from behind, so she really didn't have much of a chance to defend herself, if at all."
Authorities said the victim pulled at the cover on her head and the assailant choked and beat her during a sexual attack.
She was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where she received dozens of stitches for head wounds, lacerations and a concussion. She has since been released, police said.
The attacker also stole the victim's school bag and cell phone, police said. Although the assailant covered his own face during the attack, the victim was able to provide a general description.
Investigators said they reviewed surveillance tapes taken from campus cameras and combed the men's bathroom for DNA evidence as Philadelphia and university police worked to identify a suspect.
In the days after the assault, Holmes emerged as a likely suspect. Investigators declined to say what specifically drew their attention to him, but said the escape warrant allowed them to keep him in custody while lab technicians processed the forensic evidence.
It's unclear how Holmes gained entry to Anderson Hall, where students and employees are required to show campus identification to university security.
In June, Holmes was incarcerated on a long list of charges that included assault, robbery and eluding police. He was remanded to the juvenile facility from which he escaped.