Man accused of raping college student after pulling her out of Lake View club

SHARE Man accused of raping college student after pulling her out of Lake View club

Berlin, 954 W. Belmont Ave. | Google Maps

Bail was set at $100,000 Friday for a 29-year-old Michigan man charged with sexually assaulting a Columbia College student.

Cook County prosecutors said Sahir Arbo followed the 23-year-old woman on Jan. 29 to Berlin, 945 W. Belmont Ave., pushed her out of the club into a waiting car and then sexually assaulted her at a motel.

A warrant was issued for Arbo and he was taken into custody in Michigan before being extradited back to Chicago to face a charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault, according to court records.

Defense attorney Nehad Zayyad said the woman agreed to go to the motel with Arbo and said that the sex was consensual.

“He denies all of these allegations,” Zayyad said after court.

Sahir Arbo | Chicago police

Sahir Arbo | Chicago police

Prosecutors said the woman was at Berlin earlier in the night with two friends when they decided to go to Big City Tap, located about a block east on Belmont Avenue.

The woman noticed Arbo watching her at Big City Tap and she returned with her friends to Berlin, prosecutors said.

The woman had stepped off the dance stage at Berlin when Arbo allegedly locked her arm with his and pushed her out of the bar to a waiting car with a group of other men inside who were “speaking in a foreign language.” The vehicle took them to a motel where she was attacked, prosecutors said.

Before the assault, the woman texted her friends to tell them that she believed she was going to be raped and asked for help, prosecutors said.

One of the woman’s friends called her phone, and Arbo told the woman to tell her friend she was alright, prosecutors said. The friend also spoke to Arbo and he allegedly told her his name was “John” that he would take the woman home after the friend provided an address.

Arbo, and several other men, later dropped the woman off at her dorm, where her friend was waiting for her in the lobby, prosecutors said. The woman reported the assault to campus security and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where a sexual assault kit was administered.

Prosecutors said DNA collected at the hospital matched Arbo and the warrant was issued for his arrest.

Arbo, who lives in Shelby County, Michigan, was charged with DUI and resisting arrest last year in Michigan, authorities said.

Arbo recently divorced and lives with his family, according to Zayyad. He was born in Iraq, but has lived in the United States for six years and works for a plastics company.

Zayyad asked Judge Michael Clancy to allow Arbo to return to Michigan while his case is pending.

Clancy denied the request and ordered that Arbo be placed on electronic monitoring and surrender his passport it he posts bond.

Arbo’s next court date was set for March 12.

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