The Collegian
Saturday, December 10, 2022

Update: Student reports sexual assault on campus

A Westhampton College student filed a sexual assault report with the University of Richmond police on Sept. 21.

"With great sadness," said Juliette Landphair, dean of Westhampton College, "we recognize that sexual assault occurs on college campuses disproportionately to non-college society and most often involves students who know each other, even remotely."

The victim reported that she had been sexually assaulted during the early morning hours of Sept. 4 while walking back to her residence in the University Forest Apartments (UFA). Earlier that night, the student had attended a party with friends in the UFA.

The sexual assault happened during the same weekend that five Richmond College students were assaulted on campus.

"I truly feel for the victim," said Ali Amaral, president of the Westhampton College Government Association, "and [I] am saddened that the safety net we all take for granted at U of R is not as strong as we all imagined. As unfortunate of a reminder as this is, I cannot stress enough to please remember to take caution and be aware of your surroundings."

The WC student was unable to provide a description of her assailant or a location of where she had been sexually assaulted, URPD Capt. Beth Simonds said.

The Westhampton College Dean's Office and University Police have offered assistance to the victim.

"With this reported assault, as with any other, we in the Westhampton College Dean's Office stand ready to help the student and her friends," Landphair said. "As with any sexual assault, we beseech students to let us know; we will act on the student's behalf with discretion, with care, and with her and her peers' interest and safety at the center."

Simonds did not comment on any leads or suspects regarding this ongoing investigation, but anyone with information is asked to contact University Police as soon as possible at: (804) 289-8715.

Last year, only one case of sexual assault was reported to University Police, Simonds said.

Students are encouraged to take strong precautions for their personal safety. Police have increased patrols on campus, and advise all students to review the personal safety tips detailed on the University Police website: police.richmond.edu/prevention/index.html

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Contact staff writer Fred Shaia at fred.shaia@richmond.edu

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