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Social Media Leads Police To Alleged Assault Victim

Woman turned to Facebook and Twitter after alleged attacker took her cell phone

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Lincoln Park woman says her boyfriend sexually assaulted her and held her against her will for five hours. Christian Farr reports. (Published Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013)

    A 29-year-old Chicago woman turned to social media after she said her boyfriend showed up at her Lincoln Park apartment unannounced late Monday, sexually assaulted her, and took away her phone.

    The woman, whose identity will be kept confidential because of the nature of the alleged crime, said she grabbed her laptop and sent a message into the ether. The alleged victim said she didn't know if people would respond or even read the tweet and Facebook post she sent after the assault she said happened in her condo in the 2700 block of Hampden Court.

    "Someone call 911," read the post, which provided her address. "Do not reply, just call PLEASE."

    The woman said her boyfriend looked through messages and files on her phone and computer. She said she was able to get out the message using her laptop while her attacker was searching the cell phone in the bedroom.

    People quickly responded from all over the world, including someone in Israel. One of her Facebook contacts got in touch with Chicago police, who had officers at her front door within 15 minutes.

    "I don't know how many people saw it [or] how many people called, but apparently there were quite a number," the alleged victim said Tuesday.

    Police on Tuesday confirmed they were investigating a sexual assault but declined to offer any other details. The boyfriend was taken into custody but it wasn't clear by the afternoon hours if he'd been released. No charges have been filed.

    The woman, who has lived in her apartment for about two months, said she is "overcome with gracefulness [sic]."

    "Thank you to everyone who read my message," she said.

    She was treated at a local hospital and released.