University Police receives four sexual assault reports in nine days

Jeremy Margolis, Reporter

University Police has received reports of four sexual assaults in the last nine days, though three reportedly occurred longer ago, Deputy Chief Daniel McAleer said.

A female student told police on April 6 that she had been sexually assaulted early that morning in the 600 block of Garrett Place. Police are investigating, and the suspect is not a Northwestern student, McAleer said.

UP received emails from campus security authorities on April 7, 9 and 13 about the three other sexual assaults, McAleer said.

The woman involved in the April 7 report told a campus security authority that her assault took place on March 28, while the women in April 9 and 13 reports told the campus security authorities that their assaults took place on April 1, McAleer said.

Because the three reports were obtained anonymously, police are unable to investigate them further, McAleer said.

“It’s frustrating to get these reports and not be able to go after the offender but, nonetheless, it does help the community paint a better picture (of the prevalence of sexual assaults on campus),” McAleer said.

Prior to April 6, UP had received four sexual assault reports in 2016. UP received no sexual assault reports last April, according to its online database.

Erin Clark, the assistant director of the Center for Awareness, Response and Education, said a number of factors could have led to the increase in sexual assault reports.

“It could indicate more awareness of resources or trust of police,” Clark said. “It could also indicate that people are in higher crises and more in need of police than before. It’s definitely concerning, whatever the reasons are.”

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