After getting tips, police charge man, 24, in rape of Towson U. student

The Baltimore Sun

A 24-year-old Baltimore man is to appear before a Baltimore County judge today after being charged with raping a Towson University student last week.

Tips from "concerned citizens" led police to Ian Alexander Murphy of the 1000 block of Cedarcroft Road, who was arrested Sunday afternoon, Cpl. Michael Hill of the Baltimore County Police Department said yesterday.

Murphy was charged with first-degree rape, a first-degree sex offense and kidnapping in the attack on a 21-year-old woman Oct. 6 near the apartment building in which she lives on Knollwood Road. Police said the assailant had implied he had a gun.

After his arrest, Murphy was taken before a court commissioner, who denied him bail and ordered him held in the Baltimore County Detention Center. He is scheduled for a bail review hearing today.

Hill said police had not announced news of the assault for five days for fear of compromising the investigation, although he would not say how it might have damaged the probe to warn women on the campus and elsewhere that a rapist was loose. He said people in the neighborhood where the attack occurred, about a half-mile from campus, knew about it because some officers "went door-to-door to inform citizens."

A Towson University Police Department spokesman, Capt. Charles Herring, said students were alerted to the attack Friday, the same day the county police made it public. Asked why the news had not been disseminated earlier, Herring said, "We publish our information as we need to in support of the investigation."

The attack occurred after the woman was approached by a man about 1 a.m. as she was unloading groceries in the parking lot of her building in the 7900 block of Knollwood Road. He forced her to walk to an area where the assault would be hidden by some shrubbery, police said.

After calling police, the woman was taken to Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

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