Man faces charges after attempted sexual assault

By Lee Hermiston, The Gazette

IOWA CITY — A homeless man is accused of attempting to sexually assault a woman and assaulting a man while wielding a knife.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, a 5:13 a.m. Thursday morning, 44-year-old Rudolph D. Edwards straddled an intoxicated woman who was asleep on a couch in a Finkbine Lane apartment. Complaints do not state how Edwards, a transient, had access to the apartment or if he knew the woman.

Police said the woman woke up with Edwards on top of her. He was holding her neck with one hand and trying to remove her clothes with the other, police said. The woman kicked Edwards away and fled from the apartment.

Edwards — armed with a knife — pursued the woman into the hallway of the apartment complex, police said. A man intervened and tried to wrestle the knife away from Edwards, police said. The two struggled and Edwards punched the man multiple times in the face with a closed fist.

Police said the man required hospitalization for a possibly fractured orbital socket, as well as swelling and bruising to his face, forehead and left eye. The woman complained of neck pain after the attempted assault.

Edwards was arrested and faces charges of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse causing bodily injury, a Class D felony; going armed with intent, a Class D felony; assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, an aggravated misdemeanor; and trespass, a simple misdemeanor.

A Class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison. An aggravated misdemeanor is punishable by up to two years in jail. A simple misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

Edwards has previous convictions in Iowa for willful injury, domestic abuse, controlled substance violation, forgery and fifth-degree theft.

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