A south Minneapolis man has been arrested and charged in connection with the robbery and sexual assault last fall of a 67-year-old woman after she ducked into an Uptown bus station to warm up.

Elonge Akale was picked up by police on Tuesday morning and booked into Hennepin County jail, online records show.

Akale was 21 at the time of the assault in the early hours of Oct. 23 but has since turned 22. He had been on investigators’ radar since that night, when police arrested him downtown with a pair of backpacks he had stolen from the victim, according to a criminal complaint. Both the victim and a friend of hers later identified Akale as the assailant, the complaint said.

Authorities believe Akale approached the woman, who is homeless and had gone to the bus station at 2855 Hennepin Av. to warm up on a brisk night. The alleged assault occurred between 1 and 4 a.m.

Police said that he grabbed the two backpacks the woman was clutching, which contained her belongings, and dragged her out of the bus shelter to a nearby wooded area, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him for about an hour.

The woman later was taken to a hospital where she underwent a rape examination and was treated for injuries to her ribs and face.

Akale told police that he found the victim’s backpack in the Uptown area and denied sexually assaulting anyone, according to the complaint.

He has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree robbery, according to the complaint filed in court Monday.

His initial court date hasn’t been set.

 

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