Notre Dame police investigating multiple sexual assault cases - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UDPATE: Notre Dame police investigating multiple sexual assault cases from September

Posted:

In the month of September, three sexual assaults and one attempted rape have been reported on campus. 

Notre Dame Police have not released many details about the cases, but we do know some things.  According to crime alerts sent by Notre Dame Security Police three of the cases occurred in north quad men's residence halls, and the third was in a west quad hall.  Three of them were reportedly committed by acquaintances of the victims.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office said Friday afternoon that they have received reports from Notre Dame Security Police on two of the cases.  In both cases, the reports said that "no review for charges requested," because the victims "indicated that [they were] unwilling to pursue criminal charges."

 "When we receive information on potential crime we investigate it thoroughly and promptly," said Notre Dame Assistant Vice President Dennis Brown. "In the case of sexual assault we contact the special victims unit of the prosecutors office."

He said with the increased efforts of all Universities to educate and make aware of sexual assault an increase in reports was bound to happen.  "We're glad there are more reports, because this is an underreported crime," said Brown.

Brown added that, in 2011, the Office of Civil Rights recommended enhanced education on sexual assaults and awareness programs so Brown said they did do that.

Because of these sexual assault reports the issue is getting a lot of attention.  Attention advocates said is important. 

Notre Dame students said they're surprised by the number they're not surprised by the crime.  Lukas O'Donnell said, "It's unfortunate but it's just a fact of college life unfortunately." 

A fact YWCA CEO LInda Baechle said needs to change.  "It's never ok to take sexual advantage of somebody else.  No, it's not something that students should just take for granted that kind of thing happens.  It's wrong."

She said there's another mindset that needs changing too, this one stated by Notre Dame student Ryan Bonner, "I definitely think there's the attitude of it won't happen to me."

Baechle said, "A lot of times victims aren't realizing that their rapists most likely to be somebody that you know.  It's likely to be your acquaintance, likely to be your friend."

Notre Dame students are sympathetic towards the sexual assaults.  O'Donnell said, "the student body government they, after we get an email, they usually hold a prayer vigil at the grotto for victims of sexual assault."

Baechle said that's a good start but hopefully that's not the end of the conversation.  "There's a really low rate of prosecution in terms of rapists actually spending time in jail and having consequences for their actions and I think until that changes we're gonna have more of a culture of rape."

Campus police remind anyone on campus that sees a crime in progress or suspicious activity to call 911 or 574-631-5555 to report it.

YWCA also offers services for victims of sexual assault.  You can call their crisis line at 574-232-9668 or 1-866-YES-YWCA.

Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.