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Man charged with groping woman near U of M campus

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A man has been charged with criminal sexual conduct for "forcefully" groping a woman from behind near the University of Minnesota campus this week.

Joseph Leonard Jennings, 31, was arrested shortly after an attack on the 2500 block of Delaware St. SE at around 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, when a woman was grabbed between the legs from behind, according to U of M police.

The criminal complaint says victim told police the grab had "caused her pain" and that she turned around to see a man removing a black glove, who then smirked at her after she shouted "what the hell?"

She called 911 immediately and police were quickly on the scene, receiving a detailed description of the suspect before checking nearby surveillance footage.

Jennings was then found a block away from where the groping happened, and initially told police that he was walking past the victim when he "tripped and fell" and brushed her leg as he did.

He also told police "I am not a sexual predator." A black glove was found in his pocket.

Lt. Dave Wilske, of the U of M police, told WCCO: "For the police department, this was a success story. Everything happened the way it should, because these are rare on campus."

Jennings has been charged with 4th degree criminal sexual conduct. He has been released on bail with the condition he not come within a mile of the U of M campus.

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