A female student told University Police she was raped in a common area in West Quad residence hall early Sunday morning by a male subject after they walked to the University building together following an off-campus party.
The suspect was an Asian male between 5’6″ to 5’8″ with short black hair, according to a crime alert sent around 9 a.m. Sunday morning.
University Police spokeswoman Diane Brown said police are classifying the incident as first-degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. She said it was unclear whether there were witnesses to the incident.
Brown said police are currently not identifying the room the alleged assault took place.
She added there is no further information available on the suspect as of 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
“There’s not a lot to go on at this point, but there’s the challenge of these kinds of crimes in the initial reporting,” Brown said.
Outside of West Quad this afternoon, residents of the dorm shared their concerns about the alleged assault.
LSA sophomore Tess Filip said she was walking back to her dorm room at the time of the alleged assault. She said the incident reminded her to always be aware of her surroundings.
“It’s crazy, you hear about these things but you don’t expect it to be so close,” Filip said. “You would think someone would see.”
LSA freshman Janet Lett was also near the residence hall when the incident took place.
“I was outside talking on the phone and there was a guy who looked suspicious walking near me,” Lett said. “I think not just for female students, but for just anyone around kind of walking around at the time we should have more security out there.”
LSA freshman Erik Jordan said students should be aware of their surroundings, and to look out for other students who may be in danger.
“(People walking late at night) need to keep an eye out,” Jordan said. “Maybe be more aware of the people around you.”
Other students shared concern that the supposed event could place without anyone seeing. When LSA freshman Emma Saraff was told by a friend about the assault she said she was surprised and “terrified.”
“The fact that women can be assaulted in public, in public safe areas is crazy,” Saraff said.
LSA freshman Alyssa Laten said she would intervene if she noticed any suspicious behavior in the residence hall. But she noted that sometimes it can be hard to tell whether students are in danger.
“If I saw someone (walking home) with someone I would just assume they were good friends and they were fine,” Laten said. “If the other person was very good I would think they are taking care of them and okay.”
The University’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Michigan Union. It also offers a 24-hour crisis line at (734) 936-3333.
This is a developing story. Check www.michigandaily.com for updates.
Story updated: This story has been updated with quotes from West Quad residents, and information about SAPAC.