IUPUI students speak out about sexual assault as police investigate 3 reports in 3 days
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Police continue to investigate several reports of a man assaulting women on IUPUI’s campus.
Police have identified and interviewed a likely suspect in the case. He’s accused of sexually assaulting three women in three days.
Officials were able to identify a possible suspect quickly because so many tips came in following a campus-wide alert.
Wednesday was a sunny day at IUPUI. A little warm for blue jeans, but denim is still a common sight because it’s “Denim Day,” a day meant that is to raise awareness about sexual assaults on campus.
“Regardless of what someone is doing rape is rape and it’s always wrong,” said IUPUI student Alexis Pless.
Alexis spent her morning handing out denim pins. The timing coincides with three reports of sexual assaults on the IUPUI campus likely tied to the same suspect who has since been identified by police. That break in the case made everyone feel a lot safer.
“We caught the person and that has a lot to do with the fact that we’ve created a campus where people are safe reporting,” said Pless.
Campus police say they first took a report of a rape at the Riverwalk Apartments on Friday. On Monday two women claim they were fondled along New York street.
All three incidents occurred before police tracked down the possible suspect. Police say the campus-wide alert system worked as intended by keeping students informed and maybe helping solve the case.
“For one it alerted the campus but it also helped victims come forward where they first weren’t comfortable because they thought they were the only one,” said IUPUI police detective Kimberly Minor.
Nicole Meyer, and IUPUI freshman, says she was approached by a man she thinks is the suspect earlier this week.
“As I was telling him I needed to get up and leave and go to class he kind of was following me and being weird,” said Meyer.
She says she finally ditched the guy when she got to class, but then realized something later that night.
“I read the email about the crime notice and I read the description of him and I knew exactly that that was him,” said Meyer.
She reported the incident to police, who took a report and had her pick a suspect out of a photo lineup.
According to IUPUI’s most recent annual security report, in 2015, there were three rapes and three reports of illegal fondling on campus. In 2014, there were five reported rapes and four cases of fondling.
That’s why campus police say three reports in three days connected to the same suspect is unusual.
“It’s a rarity. It’s a safe campus. It doesn’t happen often to have guy do so many in a short span of time,” said Minor.
Although the suspect has been identified by police, no arrests have been made. Police say that man has been removed from the campus and they hope charges will be filed soon.