Trail attack suspect pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Trail attack suspect pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges

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Denilson J. Martinez-Rodriguez / photo from Gurnee police Denilson J. Martinez-Rodriguez / photo from Gurnee police
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A Waukegan man accused of attacking a woman on the Des Plaines River Trail near Libertyville in June has pleaded not guilty to several felony charges of sexual abuse, the Lake County News-Sun is reporting.

Denilson Martinez-Rodriguez, 21, was arrested in connection with a June 15 attack of a female jogger running on the Des Plaines River Trail at the Route 176 underpass. At his arraignment Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual abuse, one count of criminal sexual abuse, one count of aggravated battery in a public place and one count of unlawful restraint.

He is being held in Lake County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond and is represented by attorney Douglas Grimes.

Martinez-Rodriguez was arrested in Gurnee's Gowe Park on June 23 after police received a 911 call about a suspicious person, according to Gurnee police and Lake County Forest Preserve Police.

Police said the caller reported a man who appeared to be following female joggers in the park. Officers responded and noticed he resembled the description of the Des Plaines River Trail suspect, who had been caught on a video surveillance camera at a service station, according to officials.

Prosecutors said Martinez-Rodriguez told police “I messed up.”

Police said he admitted to grabbing a woman while she ran down the trail, and that the victim then screamed and elbowed him twice. He said he then ran back to his vehicle parked at a nearby gas station on Route 176 near the Des Plaines River, according to authorities.

According to initial reports from police, the suspect saw the woman jogging west on the North Shore Bike Path along Route 176 and then raced ahead, parked his car and waited to ambush her near a Des Plaines River underpass. Video surveillance cameras at the gas station caught the suspect exiting his white SUV and then returning four minutes later.

In bond court, prosecutors said the woman stopped at the underpass because the trail was flooded under water.

She was climbing the rocks to get around the flooding when she heard something behind her, officials said. That is when Martinez-Rodriguez allegedly grabbed her from behind. The woman eventually broke free and ran the rest of the way across the rocks up Route 176, where she called police, officials said.

The Honduran national's passport was confiscated in case he posts bail.

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