ARIZONA NEWS

Defendant found guilty of sexually assaulting ASU student at Tempe campus in 2021

Apr 3, 2024, 2:00 PM | Updated: 4:29 pm

Split image of an Arizona State University police vehicle on the left and a judge's gavel on the ri...

Eric Todd Bell was convicted of of sexually assaulting an Arizona State University student in Tempe in 2021. (Facebook/Arizona State University Police Department and Pexels Photos)

(Facebook/Arizona State University Police Department and Pexels Photos)

PHOENIX – A man accused of sexually assaulting a college student in Tempe 2½ years ago was convicted on multiple charges, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

A jury found 33-year-old Eric Todd Bell guilty of five counts of sexual assault and one count of kidnapping, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

The victim was walking to work around 5 a.m. on Oct. 17, 2021, when she was attacked, prosecutors said.

Bell grabbed the woman from behind between the ASU Packard parking structure at Scottsdale Road and Rio Salado Parkway and the Hyatt House Tempe near Rural Road and University Drive, police said at the time. He held a metal knife-like object to her throat while taking her to an location near the parking structure and sexually assaulting her.

Detectives matched a DNA sample from the crime scene to Bell, who reportedly had an extensive criminal history in Ohio. Bell was arrested in Mesa two weeks after the assault.

When will man convicted of sexually assaulting college student be sentenced?

Bell, who represented himself at the trial, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 9. He faces more than 25 years in prison, prosecutors said.

“When the defendant is representing himself, my lawyers must work doubly hard to ensure he doesn’t make mistakes that would jeopardize a conviction,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a press release. “I’m particularly proud of this team who took all that into account and still made sure he will go to prison where he belongs.”

Editor’s Note: MCAO said the student went to ASU but the university instead said the student went to a nearby community college.

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Defendant found guilty of sexually assaulting ASU student at Tempe campus in 2021