Sexual assault on campus prompts concern over student safety

A female student was sexually assaulted on campus near the business science building on Oct. 26, according to a campus crime bulletin released on Oct. 28.

A male suspect lured the female towards the men’s restroom at 4:30 p.m., and when she approached the door, she was pulled inside, where she was sexually assaulted, according to the bulletin.

According to the crime bulletin, the suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 7 inches, 180 pounds, with long black hair and wearing a white T-shirt and black basketball shorts.

No additional information has been released other than the information released in the bulletin.

Communications and Public Information Officer Kristie West confirmed the Los Rios Police Department had interviewed the victim.

“I think they are probably taking her lead and chasing him down, trying to identify him,” she said.

This is the fourth crime bulletin issued on campus within three weeks. Two of  the incidents were assaults at gunpoint, one was a sexual battery and this most recent incident was a sexual assault.

“We have increased patrols this week, and crime still happens,” West said.

She added that, even with increased campus patrols by LRPD, there is no true way to make people feel safe, and there is no way to put a cop in every corner of campus, but our campus police are doing all they can.

“I think it’s good the police are increasing their presence,” said Yen Hua, 18, an undeclared major.

Jaison Heer, 17, a computer science major, thought otherwise.

“The cops need to step up their game they need higher security measures,” he added.

In the last week, LRPD has increased patrols at CRC. Two additional officers were brought in on swing shift, and campus patrol officers were doubled from two officers to four officers for each patrol shift, Police Capt. Christopher Day said.

“Yes, people feel more secure with more patrols. Will it stop all crime? No,” West said.

Out of six students interviewed on campus regarding the assault, only two of them knew about it and were aware of its occurrence.

Marybeth Carranza, 21, a kinesiology and nutrition major said, “It’s a way serious issue we need to address. I hope this brings a need for more security.”

According to the LRPD website, there is a courtesy police escort service available anytime by calling Police Services, at 691-7777 (or just ‘7777’ from a campus phone) and press 0.

However, Carranza said she called for a campus escort by police last week earlier than 6:30 a.m. and was denied.

“I don’t feel the police presence,” said Ajeenah Lawson-Profit, 54, a human services major.

Profit said she can’t rely on campus police if something happens.

Raymond Rojas, 45, also a human services major, said, “I always walk with somebody.”

Since Oct. 22, there have been 13 crimes reported, according to the campus crime logs accessed on the LRPD website.

“An incident happens and all they do is report it and tell you what happened,” said Tia Wilridge, 18, a criminal law major.

Wilridge said the police need to manage who is allowed on and off campus.

“We feel unsafe,” said Arlyn Johnson, 18, a communications major.

Wilridge said these incidents make students not want to come on campus anymore.

“We are currently working with Sac PD on this investigation,” said Day, via an email. “Since it’s currently under investigation, please refer to the crime bulletin for information. We should have an update shortly.”

A public forum for campus safety concerns will be held Oct. 30 in L-111 from 11 a.m until 12 p.m.

Tyler Santana contributed to this story.