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Female Protester Raped at Occupy Philadelphia Camp, Suspect in Custody


A man was arrested near the Occupy Philadelphia camp Saturday night after a female protester reported to police she was raped in a tent.

According to police, the rape occurred around 7:45 p.m. Saturday at the Occupy Philadelphia encampment where tents have been set up at the city's Dilworth Plaza for more than a month. Afterward, the woman walked to a nearby pay phone and called 911. The suspect, also believed to be associated with the Occupy movement, was apprehended in the vicinity a short time later, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Police said the victim is a 23-year-old woman from Atlantic City, N.J., and the alleged rapist is a 50-year-old man from Michigan but who has a Pennsylvania address as well. His name has not yet been released, but he reportedly has been arrested a number of times for a string of armed robberies in Michigan.

The victim received medical attention and police cleared the plaza where protesters have been gathered while a crime scene unit and special victims unit investigated.

"The mayor is fully aware, the police commissioner is aware," said Lt. Ray Evers told local ABC affiliate WPVI-TV. "The scene is being held and processed. The person is in custody and is being officially identified and processed, and by tomorrow, we should have his picture out."

Sexual assaults and other violent incidents have been reported at a number of Occupy Wall Street camps around the country, though Philadelphia's has been fairly peaceful, according to WPVI.

The movement has been criticized for its response to sexual assaults, particularly at Occupy Baltimore where it distributed pamphlets discouraging victims from coming forward to the police, instructing them instead to report incidents to the "Security Team" which would "supply the abuser with counseling resources." The encampment has since revised its reporting guidelines.

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