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Rapes reported in on-campus residence halls

Two cases of rape were reported on campus. Both cases took place in residence halls and cases in which the suspects were acquainted with the victims, according to University Police Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Daniel.

The first sexual battery was reported Sunday afternoon and occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. that day in the Juniper-Poplar residence hall, Daniel said. UP identified the suspect and continue to investigate the case.

The second sexual battery was reported Monday and occurred the morning of Aug. 23 in Castor Hall. UP identified the suspect and continues to investigate the case, he said. The Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention was notified in both cases.

In both cases, Daniel said the victims were acquainted with the suspects.

“Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon that these circumstances arise from personal relationships and things are misconstrued and people taken advantage of… It’s still a crime though,” he said. “Because it is an acquainted relationship, we do not take it any less seriously.”

If a student ever feels unsafe in any situation, Daniel said students should feel comfortable talking to university officials who are all equipped to handle situations in which safety becomes an issue.

Daniel also said students should contact the UP dispatch center (813-974-2628) or even 911 if they feel there is any chance of danger.

“911 is not a system people should shy away from,” he said. “If they are uncomfortable, that is what it is designed for.”

Daniel also encourages that students use various self-defense and safety programs available at the university such as RAD, a self-defense class for women that teaches rape aggression defense.