$250K bond for man accused of sexually abusing jogger in Lincoln Park

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A man accused of sexually abusing a woman jogging in Lincoln Park after he threatened her with a BB gun was ordered held on a $250,000 bond Friday.

The 24-year-old woman was jogging in the park about 9:50 p.m. Wednesday when Timothy Reliford approached her from behind holding what appeared to be a real handgun, Assistant State’s Attorney Joe DiBella said at a bond hearing Friday.

Reliford, 31, did not know the woman but later told police he had watched her jog on previous occasions, DiBella said.

Reliford indicated that if she made any noise she would die, and demanded she show him her breasts, DiBella said.

He began groping and kissing the woman, then walked her over to a tree where he pressed against her and continued to touch and kiss her, DiBella said.

The woman begged him to stop, and was able to diffuse the situation by asking him if they could just hold hands and walk instead, DiBella said.

She led him to her high-rise, where she immediately told security, who called police, DiBella said. Before she went inside, Reliford asked if they could stay in touch and kissed her again.

He was arrested two blocks away and the victim positively identified him, DiBella said. Police recovered the weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun. Reliford later admitted to using it to threaten her, and also admitted to touching her, according to prosecutors.

Reliford has a history of felony convictions dating back to 2002 for attempted armed robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, deceptive practices and residential burglary, according to prosecutors.

He is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse with a weapon in this case, authorities said. Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered him held on a $250,000 bond, and Reliford will next appear in court May 6.

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