Suspect named in reported Purdue sexual assault case

Booking photo shows Cheng Li. (Photo Provided/Tippecanoe County Jail)
Booking photo shows Cheng Li. (Photo Provided/Tippecanoe County Jail)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue police have released the name of the suspect arrested Wednesday morning in connection to a reported sexual assault case.

Officers with the Purdue University Police Department arrested Cheng Li, 28, a postdoctoral research associate in Purdue’s Department of Food Science after questioning him. He is from the Henan Province in China.

Purdue police said Li and the victim, who’s a Purdue undergraduate international student, knew each other. The victim told police they met on a chat app and got together Tuesday outside her Hilltop apartment building around 8 p.m.

Police said Li followed the victim into her apartment, where he confined and sexually battered her before leaving. Officers said the victim did not suffer any physical injuries.

Li was taken to Tippecanoe County Jail just after 5 a.m. He is currently being held without bond pending his appearance before a judge. He faces preliminary charges of criminal confinement and sexual battery.

Sexual battery and criminal confinement are both Level 6 felonies, which carry a maximum penalty of 2½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine.