AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man has been charged with aggravated sexual assault after he was accused of attacking a woman riding a scooter near downtown Austin.
Court documents report police responded to a call near Interstate 35 and 14th Street around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Police found a victim “visibly injured” with a split lower jaw, bodily bruises and evidence of a sexual assault, according to the affidavit.
The victim told police a man “made contact with her” while she was riding a scooter and traveling east under the I-35 bridge. The victim said the man punched her several times before sexually assaulting her, court documents show.
Officers found and identified Aaron Lewis, a 44-year-old man matching the suspect description, under the I-35 bridge. Lewis told police he saw the victim riding a scooter under the bridge and asked her to perform sexual acts on him, per the affidavit.
When she said no, Lewis told police he struck her jaw before climbing on top of her for several minutes. Lewis told police he used baby wipes to clean the victim’s face and neck following the incident. Police found baby wipes covered in blood at the crime scene.
Lewis told police that “the victim asked for ‘it’ in regards to the incident,” with the affidavit reporting Lewis admitted to “[jawing] her a couple of times” before he “laid on top of her a few times.”
KXAN has reached out to an attorney representing Lewis. We will update this story if we receive a response.
Police charged Lewis with aggravated sexual assault, a first-degree felony. According to records, Lewis is in custody at Travis County jail.
His charge carries a penalty of a minimum of five years in prison up to life in prison and a fine of $10,000.
“And because Mr. Lewis has been to prison before, that range of punishment will be enhanced so that the minimum punishment that he could receive would be 15 years in prison,” Charlie Baird, a former judge and criminal attorney in Travis County, said.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Lewis has multiple prior arrests, with a most recent 2020 misdemeanor assault charge and a 2018 aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge.
The most recent charge in 2020 was a Class A misdemeanor which would have gone through the County Attorney’s Office and carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail. His 2018 charge was his most previous felony charge and documents show mental competency was questioned during that process.
Travis County’s servers were down most of the day Thursday so the nature of the results of that 2018 charge could not be pulled up by KXAN or the District Attorney’s office.
Police described Lewis as “transient” in documents.
According to a report from Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO): “Data from the Austin Police Department for the years 2014-2019 show that 2% of all violent crimes are of an unhoused person perpetrating a crime against a housed person, compared to 4% where a housed person is perpetrating a violent crime against an unhoused person.”
The Austin Police Department has previously told KXAN that stranger attacks are rare.
“Stranger attacks whether it’s on an adult or children are very rare. Stranger attacks on children are even more rare,” said Sgt. Michael Crumrine with APD’s child abuse unit during a previous story.
“Typically offenses of this nature, sexual offenses, are perpetrated by somebody that the victim of the offense knows,” Baird said.