University of Illinois student, 19, sexually assaulted, strangled to death after she ignored assailant's catcalls
The 26-year-old assailant, Donald Thurman, was charged with first-degree murder and criminal sexual assault of Ruth George, who hailed from India
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: An Indian-American student studying at the University of Illinois at Chicago was sexually assaulted and then strangled to death on campus premises on Saturday, November 23.
The 26-year-old assailant, Donald Thurman, was charged with first-degree murder and criminal sexual assault of Ruth George, 19. Details of the gruesome crime emerged when the suspect appeared before the court on Tuesday and was ordered to be held without bail, India Today reported.
According to the prosecutors, Thurman confessed to the crime after the police discovered the body of George, originally hailing from city of Hyderabad, India, in a family-owned car in the campus garage on Saturday.
Cook County prosecutor James Murphy said Thurman began following the victim because he "thought she was pretty" and wanted to talk to her. George did not respond to his catcalls and continued to walk from the campus to the parking garage. The assailant followed her to the garage and held her in a chokehold until she passed out.
He then dragged her to the back seat of her car and proceeded to sexually assault her. He then left her on the car seat, Murphy said. According to George's autopsy report, her death was ruled a homicide by strangulation.
George's family released a statement following her death, saying that they held no ill feelings towards the perpetrator.
"But our hope is no other girl would be harmed in this way and for a mother to never experience this type of heartache," the statement said. "Ruth lived out her deep faith in Jesus by loving and serving others, leaving a legacy of Christ-centered kindness and sacrifice. She was the beloved baby of our family."
Thurman has a criminal history and has spent time behind the bars. He served two years of his six-year-long prison term for a 2015 armed robbery conviction and was released on parole in December. His next court appearance has been set for December 16.