'Indian-American teenager chokehold until she passed out, then sexually assaulted'

Updated: Nov 27, 2019, 10:08 IST | PTI | Washington

George, originally hailing from Hyderabad, was a student at University of Illinois in Chicago and was found dead in family-owned car in a campus garage Saturday.

This image has been used for representational purposes only
This image has been used for representational purposes only

Washington: The teenage Indian-American university student was chokehold by her assailant until she passed out after she refused to talk to him or acknowledge his catcalls, then she was dragged to the back seat of her car and sexually assaulted, prosecutors said. The gruesome details emerged during a bail hearing of the 26-year-old assailant Donald Thurman, charged with first-degree murder and criminal sexual assault of Ruth George, 19. The prosecutors told the court on Tuesday that Thurman had confessed to the crime and it ordered he be held without bail.

George, originally hailing from Hyderabad, was a student at University of Illinois in Chicago and was found dead in family-owned car in a campus garage Saturday. The medical examiner has ruled her death a homicide by strangulation. Cook County prosecutor James Murphy said Thurman became angry after George did not respond to his catcalls when she was walking from the campus to the parking garage early Saturday. He then followed George to the garage.

Thurman "thought she was pretty" and wanted to talk to George. She did not respond. This made him angry. He allegedly came behind her and put her into a chokehold until she was unconscious, the prosecution said during the bail hearing. Thereafter, Thurman, who is on a parole, dragged her to the back seat of her car. He sexually assaulted her and left her on the car seat, Murphy said.

Last December, he was released on parole after he served two years of his six years of imprisonment for a 2015 armed robbery conviction. His next court appearance has been set for December 16. Meanwhile, George's family said in a statement they hold no hatred towards the perpetrator. "But our hope is no other girl would be harmed in this way and for a mother to never experience this type of heartache."

"Ruth lived out her deep faith in Jesus by loving and serving others, leaving a legacy of Christ-centered kindness and sacrifice,' the family said. 'She was the beloved baby of our family,' it added.

George's university said she was a sophomore and kinesiology major.

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