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Masked man set to be sentenced in connection to 2016 rapes, burglaries


Devin Grounds was arrested Sept. 15, 2016, on charges of rape, theft and burglary. He is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday. Buy Photos

The man connected with a string of burglaries and rapes from September 2016 on the southeast side of Bloomington is set to be sentenced Tuesday. 

Devin Grounds was charged with multiple felony counts of rape, burglary and theft. Grounds pleaded guilty May 2 to one rape charge. 

Five break-ins were reported on the south side of IU’s campus the mornings of Sept. 5 and Sept. 8, 2016, between 2 and 6 a.m. Female residents reported attempted assault in two cases and rape in another. 

At least one of the victims was an IU student at the time. 

In four of the break-ins, residents described the intruder as a masked man. Grounds fled when the women in these four cases confronted or fought him. 

Bloomington Police Department identified Grounds as a suspect in all five cases based on matching descriptions from victims and DNA evidence. 

In the North Walnut Street case, the woman reported being woken up around 5 a.m. by a man who threatened to kill her if she didn’t do as he said. 

The man then tied the woman’s hands behind her back and raped her, she said. He untied her before fleeing the apartment, and possibly stealing her iPhone. The phone was never found. 

The woman later completed a sexual assault evidence kit at the hospital. Detectives used this evidence, as well as a cup from her home the man reportedly touched, to match Grounds to the crime scene. 

Police also found Grounds’ DNA in the break-in on the 400 block of East Melrose Avenue, where a 22-year-old woman reported waking up to see a masked man beside her bed. 

In the South Henderson Street case, the first of the five break-ins, a 20-year-old woman reported waking up on her couch at about 5 a.m. Sept. 5 when she felt a man touching her knee. The man told her to take off her clothes, she said, but fled when she attempted to pull off his mask.

In the East Second Street case, a 20-year-old woman reportedly awoke at 2:15 a.m. Sept. 8 to see a masked man standing above her. He threatened to kill her unless she took off her clothes, she said. When he attempted to take off her clothes, she screamed and fought back, and he fled.

Then, at about 5 a.m., a 33-year-old woman on the 1300 block of South Washington Street reported waking up to hear her dog barking and finding a masked man outside her bedroom door. The man fled.

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