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Confusion Amidst Latest Sexual Assault

by Analisa Novak/ Jackson Rioux

Central Connecticut State University is backtracking on an alleged sexual assault that happened near campus.

Last Thursday, CCSU students and faculty were notified of a sexual assault that occurred on campus via a string of emails. The university sent out three separate emails, each email contradicted the previous one before it.

“It was a little confusing because I’m still not sure what even happened,” said student Fabian Fonseca. “I don’t even know if they know what happened.”

The confusion originally started after a sexual assault was reported to CCSU police. The alleged assault was said to have occurred on the early morning of Oct. 8th.

The victim originally said it happened in the Willard and Diloreto parking lot. University police, then, complied with the Cleary Act and sent out an email informing the campus of the attack, causing a media frenzy and panic within the CCSU community.

“It was overwhelming to receive all those emails, but it was a story that was not fully uncovered yet,” said student Lindsay Grant. “Hopefully police figure out what happened.”

The incident continued to bring more confusion as the night progressed. CCSU Associate Vice President Marketing & Communications Mark McLaughlin sent out two update emails stating not only did the incident not happen on campus, but also the victim was not a CCSU student.

“Since this went out earlier, I’ve learned that the person reporting the assault is not a CCSU student,” McLaughlin wrote.

The second one stated, “Thru further investigation CCSU Police have now determined that the reported sexual assault did not occur on CCSU’s campus.”

Since the string of emails last Thursday, the school has officially sent no further updates. No description of the alleged attacker was ever released.

McLaughlin did provide an update to The Recorder on Oct. 14th.

“After CCSU Police determined that the reported incident did not take place at CCSU, they closed their investigation and advised the person who reported it to contact the New Britain Police Department,” he said.

But with two sexual assaults allegedly happening within three weeks of each other, many students on campus are questioning if they are truly safe on campus.

“I don’t feel safe, especially because I have a lot of night classes,” said student Chelsea Scribner. “I’m definitely going to get some pepper spray.”

CCSU Police declined to comment further on what they are doing to ensure campus safety. In the generic email that was originally sent campus wide, CCSU police said they “Will provide additional patrol coverage to this area, but people are advised to use caution nonetheless.”

According to the 2013-2015 Cleary Report emailed out earlier this month, forcible sex offenses have increased within the last year at CCSU. In 2014 one forcible sex act was reported and documented. By 2015 that number tripled to four.

CCSU took some heat earlier this semester when students and faculty were not immediately notified of a sexual assault on campus. The assault, which occurred in James Hall, was determined to be an isolated incident by CCSU Police. The department deemed there was no threat to the rest of campus.