Female undergrad raped, robbed along Skinker

Victim released from hospital Monday afternoon

| Contributing Reporter

A female undergraduate was raped early Monday morning while walking from the Danforth Campus to the DeMun neighborhood.

According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the victim was walking south on Skinker Boulevard near Northwood Avenue around 12:30 a.m. on Monday when an unknown suspect overtook her from behind.

The assailant, who was not known to the student, forced her between two buildings and raped her. During the incident, the attacker indicated that he had a knife but did not display it.

After the rape, the suspect took money from the victim and fled the scene. Because the attack occurred off-campus, the investigation is in the jurisdiction of St. Louis Metropolitan Police, not Washington University Police.

The victim was treated at a local hospital and, according to Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Steve Givens, released Monday afternoon.

“Obviously we’re very concerned about her and helping her get through this situation, so we’ve reached out to her and her family,” Givens said. “Her family is now here, and she’s released from the hospital and doing well. That’s a relief, but obviously we’ve offered her counseling or whatever she needs to help get her life back.”

On Monday morning, the University notified the campus community of the incident through a campus-wide e-mail and crime alert.

The decision to release alerts is made on a case-by-case basis; according to Steve Hoffner, associate vice chancellor for operations, the University issued an alert in this situation because “it involved a student and did occur in an area where we have a lot of University people living, both students and faculty,” so there was concern because the suspect remained at large.

Although the University’s e-mail to students described the incident as a sexual assault, a Metropolitan Police release specifically characterized the incident as a rape, a particular type of sexual assault. As of this writing, police had not released any information about the crime beyond a description of the suspect and basic details of the victim’s report.

In the past, the DeMun neighborhood had not been associated with the same volume of crime reported north of campus, leading many students to believe that it is a safer neighborhood.

“Generally, [DeMun] seems really safe,” said Judson Kempton, a sophomore who lives in the area. “I wouldn’t expect that sort of thing to happen.”

Police described the suspect as a black male between 18 and 25 years of age, approximately 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 5 inches in height and weighing between 130 and 140 pounds. At the time of the assault, the suspect was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt over a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and white gloves.

Police request that any person with information relevant to the incident contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-371-8477.

Click here for additional coverage of the incident

This story differs from the print edition in the following way:
Due to a production error, two paragraphs were inadvertently omitted from this story. This version includes those two paragraphs.

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