Students, Police Speak Out Following Reported Sexual Assault On U Campus
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Officials at the University of Utah in a press conference Tuesday emphasized that safety remains a top priority after a sexual assault was reported on campus overnight.
The alleged incident happened at approximately 10:30 p.m. near the Marriot Library and was reported to police after midnight. Salt Lake City Police are assisting with the investigation.
During a late-morning news conference, campus police said they first responded to the call at University Hospital. Their investigation led them to the parking lot west of the Marriott Library.
At approximately 5 a.m., as authorities were towing a four-door sedan from campus to have it processed as evidence, students received a mobile alert informing them of the incident. An email was sent after the initial alert with more detailed information.
University of Utah spokesperson Chris Nelson said the alerts didn’t go out sooner because officials wanted to make sure they had much — and as accurate — information as possible first.
With the report of the assault coming just months after the murder of student athlete Lauren McCluskey, some students were left feeling uneasy.
“I got a text saying there was a sexual assault by Marriot Library,” said freshman Chiayee Jones. “(I felt) scared. It just kind of felt like all that shooting thing back again in October and November.”
U of U ALERT: Police investigating a reported sexual assault to have occurred west of Marriott Library around 10:30 pm March 25. Updates at https://t.co/paCiWmVeD9.
— University of Utah (@UUtah) March 26, 2019
Police at this time have made no arrests and have no suspect information. Authorities aren’t pressing the victim for a second interview just yet.
“In order to allow our victim in this case time to work through that trauma and get through the event she’s been through, we require at least two sleep cycles for her in order to have a follow-up interview,” said University of Utah Police Lt. Brian Wahlin.
Officials are asking everyone to be alert and aware of their surroundings. Anyone who may have seen something or has any information about the incident is urged to call campus police at 801-585-2677.
Police also said that anyone who needs a courtesy escort anywhere on campus can also call contact authorities at the same number.
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