By Matthew Meredith
On February 7, allegations of a sexual assault were made to the Parkside Police Department.
According to chief Heller of the P.P.D. a “non-student” was apprehended that same day and charged with second degree sexual assault after allegedly assaulting a Parkside student.
Heller said the incident occurred in one of the residence halls on campus. Questions were asked as to the specific location of the incident and the identities of both the alleged victim and assailant. “I am not going to share the specific [residence hall]. My priority is to keep the victim’s identity [from the public]. It’s an ongoing investigation. There’s not much I’m going to be able to release to you”, said chief Heller.
When asked why there was no notice of the incident to students until Monday, Heller had this to say, “The suspect was apprehended quickly and there was no ongoing threat. If the assailant was still on the loose we would have immediately released an emergency text similar to the tornado warnings sent to students on their cell phones.”
Under the Clery Act the P.P.D. is required to release information about crimes committed on university grounds in a timely manner. In the case of this incident, there was an email sent approximately 24 hours after it occurred.
“The health, safety and well-being of our students [are] our top priorit[ies] at all times. If you see something, or if something happens to you, report it”, said Heller. “There are many resources at your disposal as a student. There’s an option to speak with the dean of students if you do not want to involve the police. There are also counseling services for students to deal with issues such as sexual assault.”
All campus crime statistics can be found on the UWP website and are a matter of public record. The Clery Act section includes statistics from cases not reported to the police. We will keep you informed as this story unfolds.