Two alleged sexual assaults occurred in the last two weeks, both reportedly in on-campus housing. One suspect has already been positively identified in one case; both victims have yet to press charges.
According to Kevin Morris, Sam Houston State University Police Department chief, the two incidents occurred between Jan. 23 and Jan. 29. In both instances, the victims were female students who knew the suspects prior to the assaults.
In the Jan. 29 reported assault, the victim came to UPD reporting that the assault took place in Bearkat Village. A suspect in this case has been positively identified.
“Our goal is to help victims through the process as well as to identify suspects and if necessary, present that information to the district attorney for prosecution,” Morris said.
The earlier assault was reported by a “Campus Security Authority,” and the victim wished to remain anonymous because she did not want to get the police involved, according to Morris.
“There is no next step until they come to us,” Morris said. “They have been given a brochure involving different resources that are available to them like counseling, Title IX representatives, the dean of students, etc. However, it’s up to them.
UPD is not yet aware of the severity of either assault. Morris said he assumed no rape kit was performed in the first case while the second is still under investigation.
“It is uncommon for us to have two sexual assaults reported so closely together,” Morris said. “However, it’s good that they are being reported. I think because sexual assault has become very prevalent in the media and with the federal government, victims feel more comfortable reporting it due to the increased awareness and education of sexual misconduct.”
It is not yet known whether or not the victim in the second case will press charges.
“When you’re a victim of such a heinous crime, it’s a very emotional time so we don’t try to rush them we try to get them all the support we can give. Of course though, on our end, we always want to see that type of prosecution happening.”