Sacramento State (CSUS) is doubling their evening patrol on campus in response to five sexual assaults in the last three months.
There were three forcible sexual assault cases on campus and in residential areas in all of 2009. None were reported in 2008.
The spike in the number of sexual assaults is unusual, said police Lt. Joe Green to the Sacramento Bee. Crime rate on the CSUS campus compares to the top 15 percent of the safest college campuses.
The first crime occurred in the afternoon of Sept. 13. A female student was sitting on a bench on campus when the suspect approached and inappropriately touched her.
The next assault occurred about a month later when a female student reported being raped by an acquaintance at a residence hall. On the evening of Oct. 21, the student was walking through a parking lot to go to a residential hall when she was pulled into a van with three male suspects. She was then taken to a different part of the residential parking lot and was sexually assaulted before being released.
On Nov. 8, a suspect allegedly approached and groped a woman who was walking by the library at noon. The fifth case was reported the night of Nov. 22, when a female student was walking to her vehicle at a parking structure. The suspect allegedly touched her chest through her clothing and the student sprayed the suspect in the face with pepper spray.
Most of the cases are still under investigation, though it is believed that the reported assaults are unrelated, Green said.
Despite the recent crimes, CSUS is considered a safe campus, according to statistics provided by Security On Campus, Inc., a national non-profit organization. The SOC was founded by Howard and Connie Clery, parents of Lehigh University student Jeanne Clery. In 1986, Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered as she was sleeping in her dormitory by another student she did not know.
The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, also known as the Jeanne Clery Act, mandates that college campuses provide annual crime reports and statistics to the public. Nov. 8 was the 20th anniversary of the law’s enactment.
The Clery report, available on most campus police department websites, shows the number of crimes reported on campus for the past three years.
Although decreasing, UC Davis crime statistics, are significantly higher than those at CSUS. In 2007, there were 33 reported cases of forcible sexual offense. In 2008, there were 27 cases and last year, 18 were reported.
Since the beginning of fall quarter, there were two reports of sexual assault on campus. On Sept. 30, a female student was exiting a classroom along Cushing Way when she was grabbed from behind by a suspect and dragged into the bushes. The student fought off her attacker, who then fled into the arboretum. On Nov. 13, another female student was attacked by an acquaintance in her dorm room after the suspect walked her home from a party.
The UCD police department provides safety tips and encourages students to be aware of their surroundings. The department also encourages students to utilize the Aggie Host Security Escort Service, available from 5:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., by calling 752-1727.
Sacramento State also offers free shuttle service from dusk until 11 p.m.
SARAHNI PECSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.