Alleged SoHo attempted rape suspect charged: cops
The suspect in the alleged attempted rape of an NYU student in SoHo last week has been formally charged, police said.
Glenn Williams, 28, was charged Wednesday afternoon with attempted rape, robbery, sexual abuse and assault, the NYPD reported.
Williams has 55 prior arrests, a law enforcement official said, and was recently released on parole. His parole officer told police that he missed a scheduled check-in last week.
Police identified and found Williams thanks to surveillance video footage and two Crime Stoppers tips that came in after the footage was released to the public by various media outlets on Monday.
The first tip came in by phone yesterday, police said. The caller relayed that the suspect in the released surveillance video was Glenn Williams, and sometimes went by the name “Legend.” The caller described Williams as 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, and about 30 years old.
A law enforcement source said the tipster also said Williams had been released from jail about a month and a half ago, often stays with a girlfriend named Lauren Benson in Scarsdale, N.Y. and has a Facebook account under the name Rubain Artunado.
Photos of that Facebook user appear to bear a resemblance to the video footage released of the suspect in this alleged assault. On Aug. 23, the user posted an update: “I’m back bitches!” Yesterday he shared a photo of the flyer circulating about Avonte Oquendo, an autistic boy who has been missing from his school in Queens for nearly two weeks.
On July 21, he posted “R.I.P. Michael Benson You Will Be Missed.” The user is also listed as married to a user by the name of “Benni ButterflytheRockstr.”
Based on the information given by the caller, police located a Lauren Benson who was shown the surveillance video and, unprompted, told them the person in the video was her husband, the source said.
She reportedly told police he often hangs out at Tompkins Square Park and Union Square.
Special Victims Squad detectives were scouring Tompkins Square Park for Williams today when the second Crime Stoppers tip came in by email, the source said.
The tipster reportedly alerted them that the person in the surveillance video was currently at 19th Street and 10th Avenue.
Detectives were able to identify Williams on scene and bring him in for questioning. A law enforcement source said he admitted to attacking the 20-year-old NYU student because he wanted to rob her.
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