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A University employee was seriously injured last weekend after an attempted rape turned into an incident of aggravated assault.

According to Penn Police's Special Services Department, the female staff member was walking to her car, which she had parked on the 500 block of S. 42nd Street near Chester Street, at about 5 a.m. on Saturday, May 4.

The woman reported that as she was walking, she noticed a red pickup truck with an extended cab and tinted windows circle the block several times.

The driver of the truck reportedly then got out of his vehicle, approached the 23-year-old employee and attempted to rape her, according to Penn Police officials.

Although the assailant did not rape the woman, he did stab her in the shoulder and in the left eye, and her injuries were serious.

The man returned to his vehicle and fled on 42nd Street. The employee was initially taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, but she was moved to Presbyterian Hospital, located on 39th Street, because it is better equipped to deal with eye injuries.

The woman remains in the hospital, but is in stable condition.

The employee described her attacker as a black male, six feet tall, and in his mid 30s with a goatee and wearing a red baseball cap, blue jeans and a dark-colored button-up jacket.

The assault follows several other serious incidents near campus in recent memory. In February, a woman in Penn's English Language Program was raped at gunpoint in her room in the Sheraton University City hotel. She did not know her attacker, and he still has not been identified or caught.

Also in February, Philadelphia Police were looking for the suspect in an alleged rape and a sexual assault in West Philadelphia. Police believed one man was responsible for both attacks.

And in February of 2001, a female University City resident was reportedly raped in broad daylight near her residence on the 400 block of South 45th Street.

That same month, a woman reported that a man attacked her outside of a nightclub on the 4000 block of Filbert Street and bit out part of her left cheek. A 24-year-old male was arrested at the scene, but the woman refused medical attention.

In March of 2001, a 13-year-old girl was reportedly beaten about the head, kicked and choked by a man she knew. The assault took place on the 3900 block of Pine Street, and the girl was taken to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for treatment.

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