Deputies investigate 3rd sex assault report near GVSU

48 West, crash, Allendale
A Sept. 11, 2016 photo of 48 West Apartments.

ALLENDALE, Mich. (WOOD) — The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a third sex assault near Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus.

In an alert sent to students Friday, GVSU said the alleged crime took place around 11 p.m. Thursday between two buildings at the 48 West apartments, off 48th Avenue near Lake Michigan Drive.

The victim reported being approached by two men who were between 6 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall. One of the suspects had scruffy facial hair.

Capt. Mark Bennett said it appears one suspect assaulted the victim while the other one was in the area at the time.

The case was reported to deputies at 9:40 a.m. Friday. GVSU sent out an email alert around 2 p.m.

It’s unclear if the alleged attack is connected to last month’s sex assaults near the Burger King at 48th and Lake Michigan Drive and the parking lot of Campus View apartments on 42nd Avenue.

The attacker in the first incident was previously described as 6-foot-2 with dark hair and tan skin. He was wearing basketball shorts and a backward baseball cap.

“I can’t say for sure they’re connected but I can tell you there are some similarities- physical description of the suspect for one, time of the day of the assault and the location of the assault are all similar. So that obviously is an investigative lead that we’re going on, but to say that they’re definitely connected I couldn’t do that right now,” Bennett told 24 Hour News 8.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 616.738.4022 or Silent Observer at 877.887.4536.

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