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Sexual Assaults Reported

By Brian Mitchell

February 2, 2012

Cleveland State authorities recently issued two crime alerts following two separate reports of female students being sexually assaulted by the same male suspect.

A former CSU student has been arrested in connection with the assaults, but has not been charged with any crime. The suspect was apprehended on campus Jan. 25.

According to CSU police, in the Jan. 18 incident a female student was riding in the Main Classroom elevators alone around 2:15 p.m. when the suspect approached her and stated she had dirt on the back of her clothing. The suspect asked the female student if he could remove the dirt. The victim consented and the suspect proceeded to brush the victims back. The suspect then moved his hand toward the student’s buttocks and inappropriately touched her.

In the Jan. 23 incident, a female student was walking alone in the Science and Research building around 10 a.m. when the suspect approached her and stated he saw dirt on the back of her clothing. The student consented to have the suspect remove the dirt and while doing so the suspect inappropriately gripped the victim’s buttock.

“The suspect was identified through an extensive network of surveillance cameras positioned throughout the university. In all, nearly 1,000 cameras help police patrol the campus, and this week they played a key role helping to maintain a safe environment,” said David Buckingham, commander of the CSU Police Department.
In an email message to students, CSU President Ronald Berkman praised the work of the university police.

“I want to congratulate the Cleveland State police for their exemplary work this week in apprehending the individual suspected of acting inappropriately with female students. The police spent countless hours reviewing surveillance video and working diligently with the women to identify the suspect,” Berkman said.

Berkman also recognized the victims who quickly reported the sexual assaults.

“It is equally important to recognize the female students, who bravely stepped forward and reported the behavior,” he said.

In an effort to combat sexual assault and violence against women CSU offers Rape Aggression Defense training to all female student, staff and faculty at CSU.

According to CSU police the R.A.D. classes teach women how to take an active role in their own physical and psychological well being. The classes begin with classroom work informing students about awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance. The students then move onto hand-on-interaction were they are able to practice their defense tactics against a simulated attacker.

The classes are being conducted by R.A.D systems and the CSU police department.

Classes are being held in CSU’s Recreation Center on Feb. 19, Feb. 26 and March 4 from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Students must attend all three classes to complete the program. The classes are for females only and are free for Rec Center members. There is a fee of $9 for non-Rec Center members. As a reminder, all students in good standing with the university are Rec Center members.

For more information on R.A.D training contact CSU Police Officer Beverly Pettrey at 216-687-9323 or at b.pettrey@csuohio.edu.
Cleveland State also offers a 24/7 escort program that provides any student, staff, or faculty member with an escort to and from any location on or near campus. To request a safety escort call 216-687-2020.