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Resident sexually battered in Pearson dorm room

A white male entered a room in Pearson Residential College and sexually battered the occupant some time between 5 and 6 a.m. on Wednesday, the University of Miami Police Department reported Friday afternoon.

UM police, who notified the university community in an e-mail crime alert, do not know whether the perpetrator was a resident of Pearson or an intruder. The male is said to have sexually fondled the victim before taking personal items belonging to the victim.

The crime alert did not specify whether the victim was a male or female, nor did it say where in Pearson the reported battery occurred. Also, no information as to whether a roommate was present or if the victim had a roommate was included.

The Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook defines sexual battery as non-consensual oral, anal or vaginal penetration by or union with the sexual organ of another or by any other object. The handbook classifies this as a major offense that may result in disciplinary action by the university and/or criminal prosecution.

Lt. Bill Gerlach of the UMPD said that, as of Friday, they have no other information on the crime or the attacker and that the department is assisting the Coral Gables Police Department in their investigation.

Additional security personnel were stationed after the attack, Gerlach said. He added that any long-term security increases would be evaluated after the investigation.

According to the most recent Safety Matters, the UM Public Safety brochure, there were no forcible sexual offenses in student residences reported in 2003 or 2005, but six were reported in 2004-all of which were committed by someone the victim knew. Gerlach said the 2006 numbers are not yet available.

The last sex crime on campus reported via e-mail crime alert was an indecent exposure case that took place last summer.

A phone message left Friday for the Coral Gables PD public information officer regarding the most recent case was not returned. The PIO was not in the office during the weekend, when a second message was left.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Coral Gables Police Department at 305-442-1600, the UM Police Department at 305-284-6666 or Crimestoppers at 305-471-8477.

Greg Linch may be contacted at g.linch@umiami.edu.

January 23, 2007

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