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updated: 8/20/2014 2:56 PM

Waukegan man accused of attacking jogger on bike path pleads not guilty

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  • Denilson J. Martinez-Rodriquez

      Denilson J. Martinez-Rodriquez

 
 

A Waukegan man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the June 15 attack on a female jogger on the North Shore Bike Path near Libertyville.

Denilson J. Martinez-Rodriguez, 21, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual abuse, unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery stemming from the attack near the Route 176 underpass.

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Martinez-Rodriquez remains held in Lake County jail on $500,000 bail. He must post 10 percent of the bail to be released, authorities said.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Eric Kalata said Martinez-Rodriguez faces 3 to 7 years in prison if found guilty on the most serious charge.

Defense attorney Doug Grimes did not comment after the hearing.

Authorities said the 22-year-old victim was running west on the bike path when she saw water pooling under the Route 176 underpass. As she tried to maneuver around the water, she was grabbed around the waist from behind, authorities said.

The victim elbowed the attacker twice in the ribs and scrambled up the side of the embankment and called for help, authorities said.

Lake County Forest Preserve officers identified Martinez-Rodriquez after receiving video of him and his vehicle from a neighboring gas station, authorities said.

Martinez-Rodriquez was picked up by police about a week later after he was spotted bothering joggers near Gowe Park in Gurnee, authorities said.

Police said he admitted to the attack during questioning.

Martinez-Rodriquez, who authorities said is a Honduran citizen, is due back in court Sept. 10 for a case management conference. He was ordered previously to turn over his passport should he be able to post bond.

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