‘Profoundly disturbing’: Fitchburg State College police examine sexual assault reported by pupil

Native Information

The coed reportedly mentioned a person approached her within the campus library and talked to her earlier than assaulting her.

Fitchburg State College police are investigating a sexual assault that was reported by a pupil, in accordance with a letter from the college’s president. 

“The assault reported in our campus library was profoundly disturbing,” President Richard Lapidus wrote in a letter to the campus neighborhood Monday. “Please know a complete investigation stays very lively, with our College Police working in shut collaboration with different public security companies.” 

The coed reported {that a} man believed to be round 19 years outdated approached her within the library on Oct. 4 between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., The Boston Globe reported. Officers mentioned the person talked to the scholar earlier than initiating “bodily contact that escalated into sexual assault.”

The coed mentioned the person was round 5-foot-5 with a skinny construct and had “an accent of undetermined origin,” the Globe reported. Police had been notified of the assault over the weekend and commenced investigating. 

Different feminine college students advised police they’d not too long ago been approached by a person with the same description at different campus places, the Globe reported. 

“Though there are particulars we can not share with the general public out of concern for compromising [the] investigation, be assured that each one avenues are being pursued,” Lapidus wrote. “We’re additionally attending to the well-being of the scholar who made this report, to whom I’m grateful for stepping ahead.”

There will likely be a heightened police presence on campus within the coming days, the college president mentioned. 

“I’m conscious of issues about public entry to the campus in gentle of this incident. Please perceive that Fitchburg State is a public establishment, with sources which have all the time been meant to be accessible to members of the broader neighborhood,” Lapidus wrote. “Whereas this alarming incident has raised comprehensible issues, it is very important keep in mind how uncommon such situations are.”

Lapidus cited the college’s annual safety report, which says that 4 situations of rape had been reported as having occurred on campus in 2020, and two extra had been reported in 2022. 

“It’s simply irritating that now we have to fret about what’s going to occur even once we’re within the library once we simply need to be learning,” senior Kailey Norton advised WCVB.

Lapidus mentioned the college would hold the neighborhood up to date because the investigation unfolds. 

Anybody with data related to the investigation is requested to contact college police at 978-665-3111.