Police look for suspects in sexual assault at U of M dormby Art Hughes, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Police continue to search for two suspects wanted in a sexual assault in a University of Minnesota dormitory.
University police say they're looking for two men who assaulted an 18-year-old female early Sunday.
U of M Police Chief Greg Hestness says the suspects forced the victim into a restroom in Pioneer Hall. She told police that one man restrained her while the other assaulted her.
"They are of college age, roughly, so we can't eliminate them as students. We don't believe that's the case, but we can't say that to a certainty. The victim believes she'll be able to identify them if we develop suspects," said Hestness.
In the past five years, the number of surveillance cameras on campus have increased from 700 to more than 1,200.
Hestness says they weren't able to find the suspects in a review of videotapes from cameras at Pioneer Hall. But he says students often prop other doors open, and that the men could have gotten in that way.
The incident is the first sexual assault reported on campus this year. But many more have taken place and gone unreported, according to Roberta Gibbons, associate director for the Aurora Center on the U of M campus.
"The school year so far, we've seen 91 cases of sexual assault here at the Aurora Center," said Gibbons. "That number is going to be a lot higher than what the police see."
Gibbons says in the vast majority of sexual assaults, the victim and the assailant know each other. She says victims often don't report the incidents to police because they're afraid of criticism, or feel they caused the assault in some way.
In addition, it's sometimes difficult to prosecute incidents of "date rape."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
- All Things Considered, 04/28/2008, 5:19 p.m.