UC warns student body of campus 'sexual offense'

Posted at 3:53 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 18:06:16-05

CINCINNATI -- University of Cincinnati Police sent a message to students Wednesday warning them of a "sexual offense" reported on campus involving a UC student.

The offense -- not specified as a sexual assault by UCPD -- took place on Feb. 5 at around 3 a.m. inside an unspecified academic building on UC's Uptown campus, the victim told police.

The offense was reported to police on Feb. 21, the alert from UCPD said.

In the alert message to students, UC described the suspect as a "male, white, 5-feet 10-inches tall, 18 to 20 years old, thin build with shoulder length brown hair and rectangular shaped glasses." The victim reported seeing the suspect on campus several times during the fall semester.

UCPD said they could not disclose any additional information about the case or the offense.

They did, however, tell students to "take precautions to enhance safety," such as taking the free NightRide shuttle, walking in groups, telling friends and family where you are going, "trusting instincts" and to report suspicious activity to UCPD or Cincinnati Police.

"Don't get trapped into being distracted as you're moving about," said James Whalen, director of public safety at UC. "If someone else is trying to get in and swipe in saying 'I forgot my ID,' report that."

Whalen said UC intends to create a new space where victims of sexual offenses can go to get a 'medical analysis' on campus, rather than going to a hospital.

"A victim of sexual assault has to go to the hospital," Whalen said. "Often, they have to wait in the waiting room on the worst day of their life. We received a grant from the state of Ohio to develop a facility here where we can take a student to a private place, they won't be exposed to other people. They won't even have to go to the hospital at all unless there's a medical injury involved."

Anyone with information on the suspect are asked to call UC Police at 513-556-1111.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or raped, you can get help from local authorities and volunteer groups and organizations:

  • The YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, 898 Walnut St., Cincinnati  (513) 241-7090
  • Safe Passage, multiple locations, Batesville, Indiana: 812-933-1990
  • Eve Center, multiple locations, Greater Cincinnati, 513-985-9959
  • Women Helping Women,  215 E. 9th Street, Cincinnati, 513-977-5541
  • Women’s Crisis Center of Northern Kentucky: Multiple locations: (859) 491-3335
  • Cincinnati Police, 513-765-1212