Center City rape: Woman attacked in Philadelphia office building; suspect sought

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Surveillance video shows the moments a man entered a Center City office building Tuesday afternoon, before police say he entered a law firm and raped a woman.

Authorities said the incident happened at 2:14 p.m. on the 200 block of North 13th Street.

The suspect was identified by police as 49-year-old Willie L. Harris. He has ties to Camden, NJ and Woodbury, NJ.

In video obtained by Action News, the male suspect is casually pacing in and out of the building. The video shows him walking up the steps and then walking back down. He exits the building and is seen outside on the street.

The video also shows the man inside the building checking the door handles. In one case, a door is locked and he walks away.

As soon as he entered the building, police said the suspect went to the 8th floor, entered the unlocked law firm and sexually assaulted the victim. The suspect remains at large.

During a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, police said the 22-year-old victim was alone in the office when the suspect walked in.


Captain James Kearney of the Special Victims Unit said the man said he was looking for someone but the victim said she didn’t know the name. The man then asked the victim to sit on a chair.

The suspect began searching the office, Kearney said, and the victim offered to give the man her Airpods and earrings in hopes he’d disappear.

The man allegedly became frustrated and angry, then punched the victim and choked her when she tried to scream for help.

The suspect then sexually assaulted and raped the victim, Kearney said.

The attack was interrupted when a colleague who had dropped out for lunch came back to the office. The suspect then fled.

“That’s a bad person to do that,” Kearney said.

The law firm told Action News they are working with police and hope they catch this suspect soon.

The suspect wore a black baseball cap with a sticker logo on the right brim, a black t-shirt with unknown writing across the front and a white t-shirt underneath, blue jeans with a black and silver belt, and a gold watch on his left wrist.

Police say they have surveillance footage tracking some of his movements, but they’re still looking for more.

Kearney asked that anyone with a security camera review the video and, if they see anything that might help, contact the Philadelphia Police Department by phone or text at 215.686.TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Center City rape: Woman attacked in Philadelphia office building; suspect sought

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