By GARY POPP
An unknown man is believed by Jeffersonville police to have sexually assaulted two teenage boys in isolated incidents in October.
The man is accused of targeting each of the boys after finding them walking alone on Jeffersonville roadways, luring them into nearby wooded areas and sexually assaulting them out of sight of witnesses.
The department first notified area media of the incidents Thursday.
The first incident, according to Jeffersonville Police Detective Todd Hollis, occurred Oct. 5 when the suspect found the boy walking in the 2000 block of 10th Street. Nearly four weeks later Oct. 31, the same man is believed to have found another boy walking along the 2400 block of Middle Road.
In both cases, the man approached the boys on foot and somehow talked the children into entering nearby woods, Hollis said. He would not disclose what the man said to the boys to gain their trust and convince them to enter the woods with him.
“He approached them in a friendly manner and convinced them to walk with him,” Hollis said of the suspect’s method.
Both incidents occurred between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., Hollis said.
He said the man was reported in both cases to have been wearing slacks and dress shoes.
Hollis said the man attacked each of the boys after walking several yards past the tree lines.
He would not disclose the nature of the sexual assaults, or what charges would be pending against the unidentified suspect. Hollis declined to say in what area the boys live or what schools they may attend.
Hollis is asking residents to be on alert and aware of the threat imposed by the man.
He said that neither of the boys ever saw the man in a vehicle, and that he walked from the area after committing the assaults.
The suspect is described as a light-skinned black male in his mid 20s to 30 years old with a trim to medium build. A sketch was created of the man believed to have committed the assaults on the two boys.
Police are asking community members to contact authorities if they recognize the artist’s rendition of the man or have any knowledge of the crimes.
JPD can be contacted at 812-283-6633. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call 812-218-TIPS (8477).
Parents of Greater Clark County Schools students are concerned that JPD did not notify the public of the sexual assaults sooner, Victoria George, parent of a Greater Clark student, said Thursday. George said she and nearly 30 other parents have been communicating and sharing their frustrations with one another, she said.
“Had we been notified, parents could have been more vigilant, especially with our older children,” she said. “Precautions could have been taken, and a second occurrence may not have happened.”
George said she and the other concerned parents intend on talking to city officials and department leaders about not alerting the pubic after the first incident and waiting more than a week after the second occurrence.
“We are very concerned about this and not being notified sooner by officials,” George said, adding that the group of roughly 30 parents looking for answers is growing.
An automated service was used Thursday by Greater Clark to alert the public to the possible threat from the suspect.