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Archive for Saturday, August 12, 2000

Resident reports sexual assault

August 12, 2000

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A 26-year-old Lawrence woman was raped at knifepoint late Thursday night on Campanile Hill on the Kansas University campus, KU police Sgt. Troy Mailen said.

The incident occurred between 10 p.m. and 10:05 p.m. The victim was in the area from about 9:30 p.m. to 10:05 p.m.

KU police are seeking help in identifying the assailant, a male of unknown race who is about 5 feet 10 inches tall, Mailen said.

Police have released a crime alert to the KU Office of University Relations, housing units, public-access bulletin boards and area media.

"We've got very little on him right now," Mailen said. "Hopefully someone reading this will say, 'Hey I was in that area at that time.' We are encouraging people to call in with any information."

Mailen said the woman had taken her dog to Campanile Hill. She released the dog and sat on a nearby bench. When she stood, she heard rustling from behind and the man attacked her.

The man dragged her behind the path into a secluded area and raped her at knifepoint, Mailen said. The woman returned home and went with her boyfriend to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital emergency room, where KU police were notified. The woman and her boyfriend recently moved to Lawrence, Mailen said.

"We are alarmed and angry that such an attack could occur on our campus," said Lynn Bretz, interim director of the Office of University Relations. "Our thoughts are with the victim, her friends and family."

According to Mailen, Thursday's incident is the second rape in 2000. The first occurred April 22.

Seven rapes were reported on the KU campus in 1997; one in 1998 and one in 1999.

Mailen said he regularly meets with student groups to discuss safety. He met with 18 incoming freshmen groups this summer promoting "strength in numbers."

Mailen offered these tips:

Use the "buddy system" and walk with a friend.

When possible, walk in well-lit areas and on established paths.

During the school year, use SafeRide for a free ride home from anywhere in Lawrence.

Be cognizant of your surroundings and the locations of KU campus emergency phones.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call 864-5900.

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