Duquesne student arrested for sexual assault of pregnant woman

Update (10/20/2015): The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office dropped all charges against Coughenour after video surfaced that showed the student somewhere else at the time of the attack.

By Kaye Burnet | News Editor

A 61-year-old Duquesne graduate student in the business school is facing sexual assault charges for allegedly attacking a pregnant woman near the Liberty Bridge Tuesday night, according to a criminal complaint.

Police say Rex Coughenour approached the woman near the intersection of P.J. McArdle and the Liberty Bridge and told her he was homeless. According to the complaint, the victim told police Coughenour invited her “back to his tent so the two could party.” When the woman refused, the man allegedly punched her in the face, knocked her to the ground and began trying to take off her clothes.

Police found the victim shirtless and covered in blood from a broken nose, the complaint said. She was screaming for help on the side of the road when a man driving by noticed her and stopped to call the police.

Coughenour was arrested late Tuesday near the 10th Street Bridge, and the victim positively identified him as her attacker, according to the complaint. Duquesne spokeswoman Bridget Fare confirmed Wednesday that Coughenour has been suspended from the university.

The victim told police she was seven months pregnant, and feared for the safety of her child as the man kicked her in the ribs and back. She told police the man left her on the ground after stealing $18 in cash, which fell out of her clothing as he pulled off her shirt.

The victim was walking to visit her boyfriend in the hospital when the attack happened, she told police. According to her, Coughenour had followed her for several blocks down Arlington Avenue before he approached her.

Coughenour is charged with aggravated assault of an unborn child, sexual assault and robbery.

Coughenor is frequently seen on campus, according to several Duquesne students. Junior Tyler Costello said Coughenour frequently attends Spotlight Musical Theater shows in Rockwell Hall, and is often seen in the library and College Hall.

Coughenour is charged with aggravated assault of an unborn child, sexual assault and robbery.

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