Bond set for volunteer coach in Bucktown rape

January 30, 2012 2:11:22 PM PST
A man who had volunteered as a college soccer coach is being held on $750,000 bond, accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the Bucktown neighborhood after a night of bar hopping together.

Prosecutors say the attack took place inside an apartment in the 2300-block of West St. Paul. They say the woman was raped multiple times and choked until she was unconscious.

Michael Giffin, 25, of the 1700-block of South Carpenter, has been charged with criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

At 4:15 a.m. Saturday, police responded to a call for help after prosecutors say a 26-year-old woman met Giffin at a bar. They shared a cab and she invited him in for a drink, but when she said she was tired he allegedly raped her multiple times and threatened to kill her.

According to prosecutors, Giffin dragged the screaming woman back into her apartment when she ran into the hallway for help. Alarmed by the screams, neighbors called police, who arrested Giffin leaving the apartment.

"I find that this neighborhood is generally very safe, but when you hear things like that, it makes you really nervous. And I think that everybody has to be on alert, and I think it's great that neighbors called 911. My heart goes out to her," said neighbor Lu Han.

The woman was treated for bruises, scrapes and a sprained wrist at the hospital. She was treated and released.

"It's horrible. I don't think anybody should have to go through that," said neighbor Joe Spataro.

Many people who live in the Bucktown neighborhood say they are disturbed to hear about the brutal rape.

"It's terrible. I hope she's OK, is what I really hope for the most," said Jennefier Martin, neighbor.

Giffin is a former soccer player at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A spokesperson for UIC says he volunteered with the team last fall, but was not an employee. UIC's athletic director, Jim Schmidt, issued this statement Monday afternoon: "During the 2011 soccer season, Mr. Giffin served as an Undergraduate Student Assistant. He has not participated in any team activities this winter, and will not be returning in that capacity next season."

Giffin earned a paycheck as a youth soccer coach for the Chicago United Futbol Club, where he worked since December 2010. A spokesperson says he passed a background test and coached boys and girls ages 10 to 13. But the spokesperson says Giffin's last day with CUFC was Sunday, and he will not return in the future. The spokesperson says there were no complaints against Giffin and the organization was shocked to hear the news.

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