Tempe police released this sketch of the suspect from the Sept. 21 attack. (Source: Tempe Police Department)
Mohammed Alsahani (Source: Tempe Police Department)
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -
Three alcohol-fueled sex crimes in the past eight days have police alerting residents to be on guard in an area east of the Arizona State University campus in Tempe.
They've already linked one man to one of the cases.
Officers are investigating two reports of sexual assaults and one report of sexual abuse in apartment complexes in the Loud Party Corridor, an area from Broadway Road to University Drive and Rural to Price roads, said Tempe police Sgt. Steve Carbajal.
The vicinity has been the target of a Safe & Sober campaign launched by Tempe police targeting alcohol abuse.
According to a study of the city's 24 sexual assaults, from January to May of 2013, 50 percent happened in the Loud Party Corridor and more than 70 percent involved alcohol or drugs.
The latest incident occurred Saturday. A man entered an apartment through an unlocked door at The District, located at 977 E. Apache Blvd. The victim awoke at about 3:15 a.m. to the suspect touching her, Carbajal said.
The suspect is described as a white or light-skinned Hispanic. He is about 5'8" tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He was wearing a blue short-sleeved polo shirt and possibly gray shorts. Tempe police released a composite sketch of the suspect Thursday afternoon. The suspect took off before police arrived. The victim reported that the man may have been intoxicated at the time of the incident.
"It's the level of intoxication we're seeing that is leading to these situations where people are becoming victims," Carbajal said.
In an unrelated incident, a woman told police she was sexually assaulted Friday at her 922 Place apartment located at 922 E. Apache Blvd. The victim indicated that she was at a party, had a lot to drink and lost her memory at about 1 a.m.
Another sex crime involving alcohol occurred on Sept. 13. Officers arrested Mohammed Alsahani in connection with the crime that also happened at The District. Police said Alsahani and the victim had been involved in a relationship in the past. Carbajal said the victim was intoxicated during the incident and stated that she feared for her life.
"We're not saying that there's ever a reason to be sexually assaulted. No one ever asks for that," said Carbajal. "But, when you do drink to excess - and, alcohol was involved in all three of these incidents - these are the things that can happen."
Tempe police offer these facts and tips to residents to help keep from becoming victims:
Stay alert to your environment.
Acquaintance rapes account for a majority of rapes.
Males are also the victims of sexual assault.
Decision-making ability is impaired as soon as any alcohol hits the system.
Travel in groups. Avoid isolated areas or going with someone you do not know.
Let friends know where you are going and when you expect to return.
Have a buddy system before you go out.
Don't ever remain in a "negative" situation.
Be aware of the space and people around you.
"We need to continue to get the message out," Carbajal said.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
UPDATETempe PD warns residents of 3 new sex crimes near ASUMore>>
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