State College police urge vigilance after series of alleged sexual assaults

bmilazzo@centredaily.com September 7, 2013 

  • Reduce chance of being victimized

    •  Know your limits when it comes to alcohol use.

    •  Avoid leaving a social event alone or being alone with someone you just met.

    •  Watch out for each other. When going to a social gathering, attend with friends.

    •  Be aware of your surroundings.

    •  Avoid traveling alone.

    •  Trust your instincts.

    •  Avoid isolated areas.

    •  Walk with a purpose. Even if you don’t know where you’re going, act like you do.

    •  Park in well-lighted areas.

    •  Always lock your doors and windows.

    If you are a victim

    •  Go to a clinic or emergency room immediately.

    •  Find a safe environment away from the attacker.

    •  Report the attack.

    •  Preserve evidence of the attack.

    • Write down all details of the attack and attacker.

    Resources

    •  Centre County Women’s Resource Center: 1-877-234-5050

    •  National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE

    • Request a Penn State security escort:865-9255

State College police are investigating a handful of alleged sexual assaults and warning the community to take safety measures.

Officer Kelly L. Aston said there have been five reported sexual assaults between Aug. 23 and Sept. 2 — none of which are related to each other and all of which the victims reported they were acquainted with the suspects.

At least three were reported over the Labor Day weekend when three separate female victims reported a male suspect attacked them. The reports came last Friday, Sunday and Monday. The previous two allegedly happened the week before in similar situations.

Aston said four assaults occurred in the borough of State College, while the other occurred in Harris Township.

All of the reported assaults occurred during the late night or early morning hours and took place during or following alcohol-related functions, Aston added.

“Alcohol is most often a significant contributing factor in these assaults,” Aston said in news release.

Lt. Keith Robb said reports of this nature are reported more frequently during the Penn State school year but was not specific.

State College and Penn State police are urging the public to take caution at all times.

Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648.

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