BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A 27-year-old man has been arrested by the Bloomington Police Department after an 18-year-old woman told officers she was sexually assaulted in a parking garage on Sept. 1.
Andre J. Hardy of Joliet, Illinois, was arrested at 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday. Hardy was taken into custody in Joliet and is awaiting extradition to Monroe County.
Hardy is charged with one count of rape, a Level 3 felony, along with criminal confinement and sexual battery.
According to police, the assault occurred just after 10 p.m. on Sept. 1 in a parking garage located in the 200 block of N. Morton Street. The victim told police she had entered the garage from an alley in the 200 block of W. 6th Street and had walked up the steps to the third floor to search for her vehicle.
The victim had been walking around searching for her vehicle when she spotted a man following her. The man reportedly grabbed her from behind and tackled her into a parking space between two vehicles where he sexually assaulted her.
The victim told police she had cried out for help and heard footsteps approaching which caused the suspect to flee.
Bloomington police released images of the suspect captured by surveillance footage and asked for the public’s help in identifying the man in the images. Police said within a short period of time after releasing the photos, several individuals contacted the Bloomington police and identified the man in the photos as Andre J. Hardy.
According to court documents, one of the individuals who identified Hardy as the suspect in the photos told officers she had uneasy encounters with Hardy in the past. After a brief consensual encounter, the woman told officers Hardy showed up randomly at her place of employment in March. She told him to leave her alone.
On Sept. 2, the day after the rape in the parking garage, the woman told police she’d awoken to knocking at her window and heard someone calling her name. It was Hardy outside her window, she reported, who was still on her porch the next morning even after she’d told him to go away.
The woman reportedly drove Hardy to the parking lot where the assault occurred and dropped him off. She told police she typically parked in the garage for work. According to her statement, Hardy was wearing the same black Crocs he was pictured wearing in the surveillance footage. He was also talking incoherently and couldn’t collect his thoughts, according to the woman.
Investigators looked into Hardy’s background and discovered he had previously been arrested in New Mexico for sexually assaulting a female he met in a parking lot.
An arrest warrant was issued and investigators began searching for Hardy, discovering he had left Bloomington and returned to Joliet, Illinois.
Police said Bloomington detectives were on hand when he was taken into custody with assistance from the Will County Sheriff’s Department and members of the United States Marshals.
If found guilty, Hardy could face between three to 16 years in prison on his charge of rape.
A booking photo of Hardy was not available.