A former soccer player and volunteer coach at the University of Illinois at Chicago has been charged with criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint in the rape of a 26-year-old woman, reports ABC 7 News.
Twenty-five-year-old Michael Griffin is accused of raping a woman he met at a bar several times in her Bucktown apartment, threatening to kill her and then choking her until she was unconscious, according to prosecutors.
Fortunately, neighbors heard her screams and called police, who apprehended Griffin as he was leaving her apartment early Saturday morning, according to ABC 7.
“I find that this neighborhood is generally very safe, but when you hear things like that, it makes you really nervous,” neighbor Lu Han told ABC 7. “I think it’s great that neighbors called 911.”
UIC officials released a statement saying Griffin will not be returning as a volunteer coach for the soccer team next season. He has also been prohibited from returning as a youth soccer coach for the Chicago United Futbol Club.
Although the accusations have hurt his employment opportunities, Griffin is still considered innocent until proven guilty in the criminal justice system. Sexual assault is a serious offense in Illinois, which classifies it as a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Griffin is currently being held on $750,000 bond. The victim was released from the hospital after being treated for bruises, scrapes and a sprained wrist.
For more information on the crime of sexual assault, see our Related Resources section.
- Find a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Former UIC Soccer Player Charged with Rape (WGN News)
- Sexual Assault (FindLaw)
- DeMarco Whitley Convicted of Raping 15-Year-Old Girl (The Chicago Criminal Law Blog)