"Georgetown Cuddler" May Be Back

2 assaults reported since Sunday

By Jim Iovino and Pat Collins
|  Tuesday, Sep 1, 2009  |  Updated 6:41 PM EDT
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"Georgetown Cuddler" May Be Back

Siede Preis

Did the Georgetown Cuddler strike again?

Two assaults in the past three days could be the work of the so-called "Georgetown Cuddler."

A female Georgetown University student woke up at about 4 a.m. Tuesday in her home in the 3700 block of O Street NW and found a person touching her inappropriately while she was in bed, according to police. Investigators think the person used a window to get in and out of the apartment.

This latest assault came just two days after another was reported in the 1200 block of 33rd Street NW. Police said a man entered a student's home through an unlocked front door at about 6:30 a.m. and lay down on a couch with the victim, who was startled awake and told the man to leave.

"He actually lay down on the couch with her and he held her so she couldn't move," said the victim's roommate, Jen Lieberman. "Then she eventually pushed him off and she said to show his face, and he wouldn't."

The man was described as white, between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall, with a medium build. He was 25 to 30 years old with short brown hair. He was wearing a dark olive shirt and dark shorts.

The same man may be responsible for a number of break-ins in the area. The most recent incident before this week was in early June. Others were reported in March. All told, 11 similar incidents have been reported in the past two years -- two on Georgetown's campus and nine in homes in the area.

Students call him the "Cuddler" because he will climb into a bed or couch where a resident is sleeping. Most of the incidents took place in the early morning hours, and when confronted, the intruder, who usually gains access through an open door or window, flees in a hurry. 

"While we have named this person the Georgetown Cuddler, this is not a person going around in a teddy bear suit, so to say, and hugging people," a psychiatrist at George Washington University Hospital said. "This is a person that is breaking into individuals' homes and engaging in physical contact with a non-consensual person."

"You cuddle someone you love," said D.C. police Cmdr. Matt Klein. "We're looking for a criminal."

D.C. police met with Georgetown security officials Tuesday.

"We're going to catch him," said Rocco DelMonaco, Georgetown University's security chief. "Sooner or later we are going to make sure that we get to the bottom of this."

Police are asking students to do the obvious -- keep their doors and windows locked.

Anyone with information should call police at (202) 687-4343.

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