UP investigates report of sexual battery in dorm

University Police are investigating an alleged sexual battery that took place Sunday morning in the Holly Apartments.

Cpl. James Blevins investigated the report at about 7:53 p.m. on Sunday. The incident was reported to have occurred between 7 a.m. and 7:10 a.m., a UP report said. A suspect has been identified, Lt. Meg Ross said.

According to Ross, who was unable to disclose either parties’ gender and whether they were USF students, the suspect may face a second-degree felony for sexual battery, with a maximum punishment of 15 years’ imprisonment.

Sexual battery is defined by Florida Law as the “oral, anal or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sex organ of another or anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object” without the person’s consent.

The investigation is pending, Ross said.

“We will follow the usual procedure used in investigations such as these,” Ross said. “Our detectives still need to gather enough evidence to determine probable cause.”

Ross said the victim was referred to the Advocacy Program. Counselors there will help assist in the investigation.

Last year, UP reported two forcible rapes on campus.

According to the University of Tampa’s Campus Crime Report, forcible rape is defined when a person commits a sex act with “the carnal knowledge of (another) person, forcibly or against the person’s will, or not forcibly against the person’s will if the person is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary mental or physical incapacity (or youth).” Non-forcible sex offenses include incest and statutory rape, which is non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person under the age of consent.

In the past three years, there were four forcible rapes and six non-forcible rapes reported on campus. University officials and other law enforcement agencies reported a total of nine forcible rapes and zero non-forcible rapes for the past three years, according to USF’s 2006-2007 safety guide.