Facing eviction and accused in string of sexual incidents, suspended UW student also wanted in Rhode Island

MADISON, Wis. — A former University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of third-degree sexual assault on campus last week has a harassment history dating back not just the last few months in Wisconsin, but also stretching into last year in Rhode Island.

Robin Perkins, 34, is now facing eviction from university housing at Eagle Heights after being accused of assaulting another individual who isn’t affiliated with the campus on December 7. The eviction process started months earlier when UW threatened him with eviction after he was accused of sexually assaulting someone on August 25.

But his sexual harassment history didn’t begin in Wisconsin, and it’s not clear what UW knew about his criminal history when he first signed his lease this July when he was facing four active arrest warrants in Rhode Island for a string of sexual incidents last year.

String of alleged harassment incidents in Rhode Island

In early 2020, Perkins is accused of a string of harassment incidents, including two cases of indecent exposure as well as cyberstalking and cyberharassment, in various courts across Rhode Island.

According to EastBay reporting, Perkins is the suspect in an incident last February where he’s accused of masturbating in front of another man while making suggestive comments at the Roger Williams University recreation center in Rhode Island.

That was one in a string of three incidents in a month timeframe in Rhode Island, according to court records. Later in April last year, he was also accused of another disorderly conduct case.

The first indecent exposure incident happened on January 18, according to court records. On February 12, he was accused of cyberstalking, and then on February 18, he was accused again of indecent exposure. From there, on April 25, he was charged with disorderly conduct and violating a COVID-19 order.

The string of incidents bears similarities to at least one other harassment incident he’s accused of in Wisconsin, where another individual who used a gym on campus told police Perkins twice made suggestive comments while touching himself inappropriately in the men’s locker room.

RELATED: Records show man arrested for alleged UW campus sexual assault has recent history of sexual offenses

Once Perkins arrived in Wisconsin, he was accused in yet another string of incidents. The cases bear more serious assault charges as well. That includes the incident in August where Perkins is accused of assaulting another man while he was sleeping after meeting him at a bar earlier that evening.

Active warrants; Eviction from UW student housing

It’s not clear whether UW housing officials were aware of Perkins’ public criminal record in Rhode Island when he signed a lease for an Eagle Heights apartment as a graduate student on July 30 this year.

When reached for comment, spokesperson John Lucas mentioned there was much they couldn’t share due to student privacy laws but pointed towards the university’s disclosure policies when applying for student housing.

UW policy indicates students are asked to disclose only felony convictions when filling out housing applications. For Perkins, most of his Rhode Island cases haven’t yet closed, and all of them are misdemeanors.

It’s also not clear if UW was aware of active arrest warrants, all written months ago in January 2021 after Perkins failed to show up for court proceedings in his criminal cases in Rhode Island.  A Rhode Island courts official confirmed to News 3 Investigates on Tuesday that those warrants were still active for his arrest. Those warrants aren’t extraditable in Wisconsin, a spokesperson for the UW campus police told News 3, so they can’t arrest him for those cases.

Plus, the charges aren’t easily searchable for out-of-state police, UWPD’s Marc Lovicott said.

“Because the warrants are low level misdemeanors, they aren’t listed in national law enforcement databases — so we did not have access to that info. Through other local agency searches, our detectives were able to find the warrants.”

The eviction, filed on December 10, includes court documents showing UW housing officials first threatened Perkins with eviction on September 24, saying they had learned of multiple harassment incidents against both students and staff on campus.

At the time, Perkins had only been accused in a Wisconsin court of one incident: the second-degree sexual assault filed on August 25.

“…We have been made aware of your actions of multiple incidents of harassment, and you have not responded to my request to schedule a meeting to discuss these incidents,” a UW housing official said in the letter to Perkins. “These incidents have been aimed at of [sic] other residents of University Apartments and University Apartments staff and are considered to be a violation of your lease terms and conditions.”

Kelly Ignatoski, the director of University Apartments, gave him five days to “cease his behavior immediately,” noting that any additional harassment allegations would result in terminating his lease.

Weeks after receiving that letter, court filings indicate Perkins was accused of similar behavior two more times: he was cited in Sauk County for fourth-degree sexual assault on November 3, then charged with “lewd and lascivious behavior” on November 8 for the incident where he’s accused of harassing a man in a gym on Monroe Street.

The next communication including in the eviction court filing from the university comes on November 15. He was told his lease will be terminated effective December 1 because he was no longer a student at the university, making him ineligible for housing.

“Because you have been officially suspended by the University effective November 10, 2021 and are no longer a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, you are no longer eligible to live in University Apartments,” a UW housing official wrote. She noted that only single graduate students are eligible to live in his apartment.

However, by all indications, Perkins didn’t leave. In Wisconsin, a lease termination letter typically precedes a formal eviction filing as only a judge can ultimately order someone out of their home.

But it wasn’t until ten days after his lease was terminated that the university formally filed to evict Perkins from Eagle Heights, according to court records.

By that time, he was accused of offending yet again: this time, the most recent third-degree sexual assault, reported to UW police officers as happening on December 7 at that same apartment.

This article was updated to include comment from the University of Wisconsin campus police department.