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Oshkosh rape, beating suspect charged

Timothy Cole (Photo courtesy Winnebago Co. Sheriff's Office)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- A 23-year-old man faces five charges in connection with a beating and sexual assault that left a woman barricaded in a room and throwing things out a window for attention.

Timothy D. Cole is also charged with a second sexual assault less than a month earlier.

Oshkosh police say their investigation began Sept. 14, when an officer noticed broken glass from a picture frame and a rifle in the road near the intersection of 17th Avenue and Oregon Street. Police discovered that a woman had barricaded herself in an apartment bedroom. She told officers she had been badly beaten and sexually assaulted.

The 47-year-old victim told police she sometimes allows people to spend the night in her apartment if they are too drunk to drive home from Witzke's Bar, which is across the street. She said Cole was drunk the night before; she said she felt sorry for him because he told her he was a military veteran and she let him stay at her apartment. While she was changing, she said he tried to have sex with her; she said no, but he forced her down, punched her, choked her and sexually assaulted her. She was able to get a bat from under her bed and started hitting Cole, but he grabbed the bat and told her he would stop if she let go. He then started beating her with the bat, she said. She kicked Cole and ran to another bedroom, barricading the door with a dresser. Eventually, after she believed Cole had left, she started throwing things out the window - including an unloaded rifle - to get attention.

The victim was taken to the hospital where she was treated for several broken bones, cuts and bleeding on her brain.

After speaking with the victim, police say they met with the owners of the bar and the bartender who was working. While watching surveillance video, the bartender recognized Cole as a friend of a friend. Police went to the bartender's friend's house, where they found Cole. he had blood on him; police also found a pair of the victim's pants.

The victim identified Cole as her attacker using a photo lineup.

While being interviewed, police say Cole admitted being in the bar and having been drinking. He also asked if the victim was OK.

Meanwhile, Cole has been charged with another rape on Aug. 21. The 58-year-old victim said she left Bottom's Up bar, 702 Oregon St., and as she was walking home a man grabbed her, put his hand over her mouth and told her he had a knife. She said he dragged her to a gravel driveway, threw her down and sexually assaulted her. DNA evidence tied Cole to that crime, prosecutors say, but those test results did not come back until after Cole had been arrested for the Sept. 14 incident.

Cole is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, substantial battery, strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment and two counts of second-degree sexual assault. If convicted, he could be sentenced to more than 155 years in prison.

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