A sexual assault that took place in Isla Vista at 3:43 a.m. Sunday is likely related to multiple incidents of sexual assault that occurred at 4:30 that same morning in the Francisco Torres Residence Hall, said the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.
Edidiong Udo was arrested in the early morning hours of Sept. 28 after a struggle with a woman on the fifth floor of FT, where he is also a resident. Police investigators allege he sexually assaulted the woman and several others at the residence hall.
Udo’s arraignment began Tuesday morning on charges of attempted rape, sexual battery and false imprisonment in connection with multiple sexual assaults at FT, but was continued until Thursday morning at the request of Udo’ public defender, Michael Hanley. Also Tuesday morning, IVFP released its report on a similar assault that had occurred prior to those at FT.
Police said Udo may have assaulted a woman in I.V. before the FT assaults took place.
A woman sitting at a bus stop on El Colegio Road, several hundred feet east of the FT south tower on the opposite side of the road, called police after two men approached her and one of them grabbed her breasts. Police said one man was an unidentified Hispanic man, and the other man who grabbed her was an African-American man who fit the description of Udo. Both fled the scene when the woman started screaming “rape” repeatedly.
IVFP Sgt. Walton said it was those screams that attracted the attention of community service officers on the grounds of FT, who called police. About 40 minutes later, UC police officers arrested Udo on suspicion of committing several sexual assaults in the building.
“We were dispatched to the calls fairly close together,” Walton said. “Certainly close enough to heighten our suspicions of [the calls] being related.”
The woman assaulted at the bus stop, age 30, said she was out to get some air when the men approached. It is Nexus policy not to publish the names of victims of sexual assault unless he or she requests it. (The woman’s name is not given here as Nexus policy is to not publish the names of sexual assault victims unless they request that their names be published.)
“I saw people walking by all night, so it wasn’t a big deal,” she said. “I thought they were just going to stop to ask me a question.”
She said the assailant grabbed her breasts with both his hands and attempted to pull off her sweater, while the Hispanic male urged him to leave her alone.
“He had this look in his eyes. He was pretty wound up,” she said. “It was this freaky look. I told him to get off me. I knew he was definitely looking to harm someone.”
According to police and the victim, the assailant stepped away and turned his back to the woman, but then turned around quickly and struck the woman’s face with a closed fist. However, police said they did not observe any injuries to her face and the woman declined medical attention.
“I walked really fast the other direction and called the police,” she said. “My adrenaline was pumping.”
The victim said the two men appeared to be intoxicated, judging by the way they were walking.
“They definitely weren’t walking in a straight line,” she said.
When IVFP officers realized the proximity of the alleged sexual assaults and the similar descriptions of the suspect in each case, they brought the woman from the bus stop to see if the suspect whom UCPD had arrested at FT could be the same man who assaulted her. Udo had just been arrested for allegedly entering several dorm rooms and sexually assaulting female occupants.
She told police that she could recognize the suspect’s eyes; however, police said she did not identify Udo as the man who assaulted her. The report stated that “the suspect was extremely intoxicated and could not hold his eyes open” as he sat in the police car.
Walton said the suspect’s bold entrance into dorm rooms was peculiar.
“It’s unusual for a town where the unusual is the norm,” he said.
The victim told police she did not want to press charges, but that she will no longer go out alone at night in Santa Barbara.
“I’ll go out with someone or I won’t go out,” she said. “There should be some lampposts in the area because it’s easy for people to get preyed on there. It’s so dark.”
– Travis Hunter also contributed to this article.