Investigation Into Sexual Assault on U. Campus Ongoing, Students Urged to Stay Watchful

Apr 2, 2019, 4:53 PM | Updated: 9:27 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – One week ago, on March 26, the University of Utah campus was on alert following a reported sexual assault from the night before.

University of Utah police have not released a suspect description or made an arrest in the case.

A university spokesperson said the investigation is ongoing, while students are urged to stay watchful.

Five hours after that reported sexual assault, west of the Marriott Library, an alert went out to the campus community.

Federal law requires a campus alert when a serious or ongoing threat, such as a shooter or a sexual assailant, is a possibility.

The alert allows people on campus to take appropriate actions to protect themselves.

But, there has been no follow-up information about whether people on campus should remain on alert, or stand down.

“I thought about my immediate safety,” said Isabelle Wheadon, describing her reaction when she got that text alert about a sexual assault last week.

The university student was safe in her dorm room at the time, but the alert worried her and she wanted more information.

“I had no information about what was going on, or what actually happened,” she said.

But she feels safe on campus and thinks the university does a good job letting students know about courtesy escorts and how to get home safely.

She also remains alert and aware of her personal safety.

“I always make sure I have a friend with me, or I text my roommate as I am going home or going to class.”

Isaac Lee, a friend of Wheadon’s going back to high school, agrees. He said, in their group of friends, they look out for each other.

“If it’s late at night, people ask, ‘Do you have someone who is walking home with you? Or are you OK getting home tonight?'”

The university did post an online update Friday, pointing out that investigations like this take time.

“As important is transparency to campus is also protecting the privacy of the person who reported this crime. So, that’s the top priority for the police,” said Chris Nelson, a university spokesperson.

Right now, police are still investigating, working with the victim to gather leads and evidence.

“The University of Utah is a safe campus,” said Nelson. “Salt Lake City is a safe city. But, we are one and the same.”

The university is urging everyone to take the same precautions on campus that they would in Salt Lake City.

“I have a couple of night classes, and if I am walking alone to my car I would rather not. But, I walk with someone, or have pepper spray or something,” said Regan Crofts, a university student.

“I’ll usually have people to walk with, or even if I don’t, it’s not a constant fear that something bad is going to happen,” said Sara Leonard, a university student.

“Is campus safe? Absolutely,” said Nelson. “We have a good police presence. We have a security presence. We’ve made dramatic improvements over the last couple of years in terms of lighting. Can we be better? Yes, we’re always working to be better.”

The university says more students have been using the courtesy escorts and various counseling services since the murder of University student athlete Lauren McCluskey in the fall.


KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Want to rent out your home for the NBA All-Star weekend? Here’s what you need to know

No question local businesses and hotel operators are excited about all the money the NBA All-Star game will bring in. But as Matt Gephardt found, regular Joe's are also capitalizing — and maybe you can, too.
1 day ago
Chopper 5 flies over the site of a new golf course by Tiger Woods set to open near Heber and Park C...
Alex Cabrero

New golf course designed by Tiger Woods set to open in 2025 near Heber City, Park City

A new golf course set to come to the Park City area is being designed by Tiger Woods. While it may be exciting, it has a lot of people wondering about the water it will take to run it.
1 day ago
Shelby Lofton

Utah lawmakers discussing multiple domestic violence bills to protect victims

A domestic violence amendment bill — SB117 — has made it one step closer to reaching the governor's desk.
1 day ago
Pat Reavy

Utah sex offender charged with kidnapping teen girl from Arizona he met on TikTok

A West Valley man previously convicted of sexually extorting a teen girl is now charged with driving to Arizona to take a different teen girl back to his home in Utah where he sexually assaulted her.
1 day ago
(North View Fire District)...
Madison Swenson

Cars crash into Utah building and residence in separate incidents

Two buildings in Pleasant View were damaged Tuesday after cars crashed into them.
1 day ago
Shara Park

Raise the Future chosen as Team Giannis’ beneficiary for NBA All-Star Game

As the NBA All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City approaches, several local charities have been chosen as beneficiaries, including Raise the Future, KSL TV’s Wednesday's Child partner.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Investigation Into Sexual Assault on U. Campus Ongoing, Students Urged to Stay Watchful