ARIZONA NEWS

Man convicted of raping woman near ASU parking garage in 2021 gets 40-year prison sentence

May 15, 2024, 8:53 AM | Updated: 9:00 am

Split panel image of the mugshot of Eric Todd Bell on the left and an ASU police vehicle on the rig...

Eric Todd Bell was sentenced May 9, 2024, for raping a woman near an Arizona State University parking garage in Tempe on Oct. 17, 2021. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Facebook/Arizona State University Police Department Photos)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Facebook/Arizona State University Police Department Photos)

PHOENIX – A man convicted of raping a woman near an Arizona State University parking garage in Tempe in 2021 was sentenced to 40 years in prison last week, authorities announced Tuesday.

A jury found 33-year-old Eric Todd Bell guilty on five counts of sexual assault and one count of kidnapping, all class 2 felonies, in early April.

The convicted ASU rapist was sentenced on Thursday to five consecutive eight-year sentences for the sexual assault charges and a concurrent five-year sentence for kidnapping. He was also ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

The victim, who didn’t know Bell, was walking to work around 5 a.m. on Oct. 17, 2021, when she was attacked, according to prosecutors.

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 knife-like object to her throat while taking her to a location near the parking structure and sexually assaulting her.

How was the convicted ASU rapist identified?

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

The victim shared the following statement in court, per the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office:

“I will keep pushing forward, stronger than ever. Moving forward, it is crucial for society to prioritize understanding, empathy and support for all survivors of assault. By fostering a culture of understanding and inclusivity, we can ensure survivors receive the care and support they need. It is important for victims to know that they are not alone and that there are resources available to help them navigate the healing process.”

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Man convicted of raping woman near ASU parking garage in 2021 gets 40-year prison sentence