Ames Sexual Assault Arrest Eases Minds But Leaves Lingering Concern

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AMES, Iowa  --  In a press conference on Monday, Ames Police Commander Geoff Huff described the victim of a brutal sexual assault as a "true survivor."

After 13 months of investigating the assault, police arrested Devontez Voigts. He is currently being held in the Story County Jail on a $2 million bond, facing several charges including sexual assault and kidnapping.

Investigators say DNA evidence collected from the strangulation and sexual assault on a young woman at Franklin Park in Ames last January pointed investigators to Voigts. His criminal past helped police track him down.

"With an unknown subject, you pretty much have to have someone in the system to get a hit like that, so we were fortunate in terms of him having a sample in the system," says Huff.

The arrest comes as a bit of relief those who live across the street from the park.

"The day we signed the lease to rent this house is the same day it happened. We had just gotten home and later that evening we got an email saying there was a campus crime," says Ames resident Danielle Hermsen. "Since, we've always been super cautious about getting out of our car at night and leaving the doors locked."

The victim and suspect were not Iowa State students and did not know each other. Residents near the park hope the arrest serves as a reminder to other young women about the dangers of sexual assault and the importance of reporting it.

"It can happen to anybody. We're more prone to keep our eyes open, even those who don't think it's gonna happen to them," says Sydney Rouse.

At the time of his arrest on Tuesday, Voigts was serving time at the Newton Correction Facility on unrelated charges.