Official: Assault details not released to protect victim

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    The Office of Communications did not disclose details about the Oct. 13 campus sexual assault when it sent a police flier through a campuswide e-mail Monday to protect the student’s privacy, a university official said.

    “The university typically does not discuss the details of an assault out of respect for the privacy of the student,” Lisa Albert, associate director of communications for the university, wrote in an e-mail. “The university continues to share pertinent and new information as it previously stated.”

    A Fort Worth Police flier released to the public Monday featured a sketch of the suspect and stated that the woman was walking from her dormitory to the library when the suspect grabbed her and pulled her near a building, where he sexually assaulted her with an object. The suspect, who had used a weapon to threaten the woman, then fled on foot south on University Drive.

    Albert said her office left out those details from the Fort Worth Police flier it e-mailed to the campus community because the information was not new and to protect the victim.

    “The plan had been to include any new information, and that was really not new information,” Albert said. “And to protect the privacy of the student involved, it just wasn’t necessary to share with the student population. The composite sketch was the pertinent piece of the puzzle.”

    Sgt. Chad Mahaffey, spokesman for the Fort Worth Police Department, said the information in the flier issued this week had not been made public before.

    According to a press release issued by Fort Worth Police on Oct. 14, one day after the assault, the victim reported she was sexually assaulted while walking outdoors on the 2900 block of South University Drive. According to the press release, the suspect approached the victim from behind, forced her into a dark area and assaulted her.

    A campuswide crime alert sent by TCU Police hours after the assault read that a student reported a sexual assault on campus at about 9 p.m. Oct. 13 and described the suspect. Another campuswide e-mail sent Oct. 14 by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Don Mills stated that the assailant threatened the student with a knife. The e-mails did not elaborate on where on campus the assault took place.

    In response to the Oct. 13 sexual assault, campus police have increased the number of patrol officers at night and added a second class for the Rape Aggression Defense workshop for female students. Police describe the suspect as a white man in his early twenties with straight blond hair, unshaven and with a mole on his right cheek.

    Police also continue to investigate a sexual assault reported by a student on Oct. 1. The woman told police that she believes a drug was slipped in her drink without her knowledge and that she was sexually assaulted. The location of the offense has not been disclosed. Campus police described the assault as an acquaintance rape.