LOWELL -- A former Dracut High School football all-star was sentenced to six months in jail on a probation violation Tuesday after he was arrested in March for allegedly following a woman from a Dracut gym and sexually assaulting her outside her Lowell home.
Bryant Tuff, 19, of Dracut, pleaded not guilty in March to charges of assault with intent to rape and assault and battery.
Tuff has been arrested twice before, in 2012 on charges of assault and battery, defacing property and disturbing the peace, and in 2013 on charges of breaking and entering in the nighttime for a felony.
He was on probation at the time of his arrest on the latest charge triggering a probation violation hearing.
Tuff was already being held without bail after a judge deemed him a danger to society soon after his arrest.
Prosecutor Rachel Perlman said Lowell police allege that on Feb. 26, a Lowell woman left a Dracut gym, drove to her house in Lowell, parked across the street, then sat in her car texting.
The woman saw a man approach her car so she locked her doors. After waiting a while, the woman got out of her car, heard a sound and a man, wearing a bandanna over half his face, knocked her down and assaulted her, Perlman said. She fought off her attacker, Perlman said.
A witness told police about a "blood-curdling scream," and of seeing a gold-colored van in the area, Perlman said. Police located a "similar" car, rented to Tuff's mother, Perlman said. Tuff's family members told police that Tuff had access to the vehicle, Perlman said.
Lowell Police Lt. Detective Thomas Hultgren testified at the March dangerousness hearing that there have been four reports from women who describe a man with dark curly hair, wearing dark clothing who focuses on women who have either left the gym or are near the gym.
The incidents, Feb. 2, Feb. 25, Feb. 26, and March 5, usually occurred late at night. Perlman said two other women have been followed home from the same gym, though in a different car, she said.
While police say Tuff is a suspect in the other incidents, he has only been charged in connection with the Feb. 26 assault.
In all alleged incidents, the man uses a car to follow the women to their destination, donning a dark ski mask, then approaches their cars after the women have parked. In three of the instances, the women locked their doors and called for help when the man approached their vehicles.
One of the stalker's victims identified Tuff from school, where he was a Division 2 Merrimack Valley Conference all-star in 2012. He was part of the crowd she hung around with in school.
One person was able to identify a car the stalker was driving as a silver Toyota, and a license plate which Hultgren testified was a car rented by Tuff's grandmother.
But Tuff's family members testified during the dangerousness hearing that Tuff was home all night playing video games with his half-brother.