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Could South Milwaukee sexual assault be related to Bay View assaults?

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SOUTH MILWAUKEE -- South Milwaukee police are issuing a warning after a woman was sexually assaulted outside of a home near 13th Ave. and Rawson Ave. around midnight on July 3, 2012. South Milwaukee police have contacted Milwaukee police because the actions of the suspect in this case are similar to those of a suspect in Bay View.

Mary Jackels' 34-year-old daughter was the victim in the South Milwaukee attack. Just after midnight on July 3rd, she was lifting the lever to the gate in the backyard, when she felt something behind her. The woman told police she was groped suddenly by what she thought was a man who came out of nowhere. She fought back and screamed before the man took off.

"When all this was happening to her, she was on the phone with her husband in Seattle. He heard everything. She turned around, and there was a man in a hoodie. He had his hand up into her private area," Jackels said.

The woman reportedly started screaming, and she either fell or was pushed, breaking some tiles.

The suspect took off, and unfortunately, the woman did not get a glimpse of his face.

"It really hits home when it's in your own backyard," Jackels said.

Sarah Canapa's 16-year-old sister lives near where the attack occurred in South Milwaukee. She said she's giving her sister some "big sister" advice.

"Don't walk anywhere alone. Don't go outside after 10. There's no reason to be outside then. If you see somebody, go the other way, or keep an eye on them. You don't want to just blindly walk by. You don't know if they will turn around and follow you," Canapa said.

Jackels said her daughter sent pictures to the South Milwaukee Police Department to help with their investigation.

So far, police say they have no leads, and their investigation is ongoing.

Police are advising any woman who is attacked to scream or draw attention to what's happening, as that seems to deter the attacker.

If you have information that could help investigators in this case, you're urged to call the South Milwaukee Police Department at 414-768-8060 or Crimestoppers at 866-373-6227.

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