A Twin Cities U of M student claims she was sexually assaulted by a man claiming to be a cop when she agreed to take a ride. The female victim was walking by herself along the intersection of 8th Street SE and 15th Avenue SE, just a few blocks from the Twin Cities U of M University, when a black SUV drove up next to her at about 2:15 a.m. The vehicle slowed down and a man talked to her, according to U of M police. He falsely told her that he was a cop and that she should not be walking alone.
The man then offered to give the woman a ride, and once she decided to do so and was inside the vehicle, the man locked the doors and allegedly, proceeded to take her to an isolated location were he sexually assaulted her. Police describe the individual as a black male that seemed to be between 23 and 27 years of age and had a moderate build. The man also had a shaved head or very short hair and a chin-strapped neatly trimmed beard.
He was wearing a badge to impersonate as a Twin Cities U of M cop, with a dark jacket, dark pants and a police style utility belt. The SUV the man was driving had a very dark interior and he even had a computer screen on the center of the dash-board.
Twin Cities University students, staff and faculty were given a crime alert at about 6 p.m. Sunday night. The U of M administration always encourages students to not walk alone on the weekends and late at night. The campus offers free campus escort services at 612-624-WALK. Free transportation is also provided by the Gopher Chauffeur to and from locations and can be called at 612-388-6911
If there is anyone with information about this crime, they are advised to contact the tip line at 612-692-8477 and reference case number MP-13-391636.
So what can be done about such sexual assaults? In a 1957 study, although it seems old, it stated that about one-fifth of college women reported that they were victims of forceful attempted intercourse. Of those women, about 6 percent reported the perpetrator used threats or infliction of physical pain in order to obtain what they wanted.
Keep in mind, that across the country between one-fourth and one-fifth of college students that are female have encountered attempted or been a victim of sexual assault sometime during their college years. Although, this data does not include male victims it is only because many male incidents are not reported. This concern requires a need for exposure their under-reported status for assistance.
Many colleges, over 90 percent, sponsor awareness activities about sexual assault. That is probably why sexual assault numbers seem to be rising, being once a person knows about it, then it usually is reported. Often times it is even reported nationally due to various consistencies that happen within campus living.
This new age campus living brings females to an increased level of caution, due to more independence than previous college students had in the past. New problems arise with new freedoms, when such things rarely existed in the past and only “bad girls” were the supposed victims. The thing is to never stay silent, man or woman, as the sooner such acts are reported the sooner the predator can be stopped from harming others. Do not become another Twin Cities student or another college student who is sexually assaulted, watch for warning signs and suspicious people. If someone approaches as a cop, demand identification or contact the campus security office for verification.
By Tina Elliott