Content warning: This story contains information about sexual assault.
The Madison Police Department arrested a 26 year-old male suspect early Wednesday morning in connection to a sexual assault early Sunday morning which sent a female UW-Madison student to the hospital in critical condition.
According to a Wednesday afternoon MPD statement, the suspect was seen in downtown Madison following the survivor before the incident. MPD identified him by referencing a body camera video he was depicted in Sunday night after being pulled over for a registration violation.
After the assault, the suspect stayed on the scene and pretended to be an innocent bystander, telling “[a] witness he found the injured woman lying nearby,” according to MPD. Although witnesses requested he remain on scene, the suspect left prior to police arriving.
MPD said biological evidence helped identify the suspect and that submitted video evidence was a “linchpin” in making the arrest. The suspect and the survivor did not know each other.
“We are still going through every detail of this case until there is nothing left to do. We owe that to our survivor and our community," MPD Chief Shon Barnes said at a Wednesday afternoon press briefing.
Dane County Jail is holding the suspect on first-degree sexual assault, first-degree reckless injury and strangulation charges.
The attack occurred around 3:18 a.m. Sunday, with the woman found along the 500 block of W. Wilson Street. She was later taken to the hospital with severe injuries.
Despite critical injuries, the student, described Tuesday as being in her 20s, is expected to survive. Spokesperson Stephanie Fryer said MPD is making “significant progress on this case.”
Detectives and investigators are still looking for any surveillance video from the area, particularly from those who were gone during Labor Day weekend.
Editor's note: The Daily Cardinal does not publish the names of those charged but not convicted of a crime.
Liam Beran is the Campus News Editor for The Daily Cardinal and a third-year English major. Throughout his time at the Cardinal, he's written articles for campus, state and in-depth news. Follow him on Twitter at @liampberan.