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Rape cases still under investigation

Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 00:01

University Police (UP) officers are still investigating the reported rape of a USF-affiliated man in a Marshall Student Center restroom, UP spokeswoman Lt. Charlotte Domingo said.

The case, which was reported to UP last Friday, allegedly occurred in the second floor unisex restroom of the Marshall Student Center a week prior between two non-student males who were acquainted with each other. 

Last semester, two on-campus cases were reported to UP within a three-week span, which allegedly took place in Kappa and Epsilon Halls.

Domingo said the two cases are also both still under investigation. 

According to police reports from the last three years, UP investigations ranged between two days and 12 months before clearing the case or referring it to higher authorities. 

This incident was the first account of sexual battery reported on campus in 2013. Five accounts were reported to UP in 2012, one in 2011, nine in 2010, one in 2009 and three in 2008.

Nanci Newton, director for the Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention, said to The Oracle last semester that rape on college campuses is an underreported crime. 

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Statistics reports 91 percent of rape victims are female and 7 percent are male, but other studies suggest that one in four college-aged females are victims of rape and that one in seven are college-aged males. 

“In society there is a huge stigma about certain kinds of victimization, and rape is one of those kinds of victimizations that really evokes unfortunate, insensitive responses in a lot of people,” Newton said. 

Some students on campus such as Jasmine Taylor, a sophomore majoring in psychology, said they felt “a little uneasy,” after hearing about three rapes reported during the academic year, but not to the point where their lives are affected.

“I walk around campus all the time, and I don’t really think much of it,” Taylor said.

Clifton Hyatt, a sophomore majoring in chemistry, said though he was surprised to learn the most recent victim was male, he didn’t feel unsafe.

“I don’t really feel threatened honestly,” he said. “It’s not something I think about. I’ve heard about it, but it doesn’t threaten my security. Mid-day, there’s people all over the place.”

— Staff report 

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