Eastern Iowa Man Charged with Rape on Downtown Rooftop
A Johnson County man, who was already on the sex offender registry, is behind bars after being charged with rape.
According to court documents, 33-year-old Fitsum H. Russell of North Liberty was arrested over the weekend. He's been charged with raping a woman on a rooftop in downtown Iowa City early on the morning of Sunday, July 25.
The Gazette reports that Russell allegedly grabbed the woman outside a bar as she was trying to locate her friends. He is accused of taking her to the roof of a downtown building, where police say he pushed her down, removed her clothing, and raped her. The victim told authorities the man put his hand over her mouth and told her to be quiet when she told him to stop.
After going to the authorities, the victim took police officers to the scene of the alleged assault where Russell's ID was located. DNA on the victim was confirmed to be from Russell when a sexual assault kit was analyzed.
Russell was booked into the Johnson County Jail in Iowa City Friday night, October 15, at approximately 9:40 p.m. He's been charged with 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse-second or subsequent offense, a Class A felony. He's being held on a $150,000 cash bond.
According to the Iowa Sex Offender Registry, Russell was convicted of Indecent Exposure, a serious misdemeanor, in Linn County in 2020. In 2018, he was convicted on two different Assault with intent to commit sexual abuse charges in Johnson County. According to the Gazette, those are both aggravated misdemeanors.