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Posted on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

Eastern Michigan University student reports sexual assault

By Cindy Heflin

A 19 year-old Eastern Michigan University student told police this morning she was sexually assaulted in a vehicle parked near the university’s student center on Oct. 12.

The student, who lives on campus, could not describe the vehicle, police said, but said she was assaulted by a black male, approximately 6'2" to 6'3" tall, with an athletic build and light to medium complexion, police said.

He was described as wearing a black jacket made of cotton material with elastic sleeve cuffs, and a black knit hat with a knit ball on top and material covering the ears, with strings that hang down with tassels on the end.

The assault occurred at 7:40 p.m., police said.

Eastern Michigan University interim Police Chief Robert Heighes said no weapon was used or implied during the assault. He said he could not release additional information about the assault, including why it was not reported for three months.

EMU police ask anyone who might have information about the case to call (734) 487-1222 to report what they know.



Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Sallyxyz: I'm not sure what you say is true. That area is between the student center and dorms and very close to the campus police station. I notice students hanging around (student center) but they don't look like thugs. If you have information about criminal activity in the area why haven't you reported it to the police?


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

Somehow I'm not surprised to hear of an assault in the location. Plenty of thugs walking around that area at all times of the day and night. I'm sorry to hear of this unfortunate event and I hope the victim is recovering. Let's hope they catch the perp.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

When I was a young criminology student many years ago the common perception was that between 2% and 8% of all sexual assaults were false reports. Peter Neufield and Berry Scheck (founders of the innocence project) state "Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing. Specifically, FBI officials report that out of roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases since 1989, about 2,000 tests have been inconclusive, about 2,000 tests have excluded the primary suspect, and about 6,000 have "matched" or included the primary suspect." The study continued "these percentages have remained constant for 7 years, and the National Institute of Justice's informal survey of private laboratories reveals a strikingly similar 26 percent exclusion rate." Now if you look at these results plus other studies like a study conducted by Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University where 109 cases of rape were investigated in a major midwestern city between 1978 and 1987 you will find the staggering statistic that in those cases 41% or 45 cases were confirmed as false reports. I'm not saying anything about this specific case, just as general rule lets not put the cart before the horse.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

no matter how we define a rape case that isn't substantiated we can't deny that rapes do occur in our community and especially on our college campuses. Whether the percentage is 1 percent or 40 percent in terms of false accusations the bottom line is that false accusations do occur and we must make sure we are truly treating our accused as "innocent until proven guilty".


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

Ofcourse rape happens, this isn't an argument about all rape versus no rape. Because criminal sexual conduct investigations touch on such a sensitive topic when reportees are found to be lying or filing a false report prosecutors across the country have refused to prosecute. In my career I've seen individuals prosecuted for filing a false police report for a number of different offenses including robbery, assault, home invasion, identity theft, fraud etc.. and yet when an individual recants their statement and admits to making a false report in regards to a rape there is no prosecution. In the meanwhile a suspect's life has been turned upside down, many have lost jobs, friends, spouses and even committed suicide but hey we can't talk about any of that because every person who has ever said they were raped must have been telling the truth. Good Point

City Confidential

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

Excluded suspect doesn't mean no rape occurred, could be different suspect or could be no dna left (rape can happen with objects, with condoms, with fingers, etc). "False reports" don't necessarily mean no rape occurred. It could mean that details were omitted or altered out of shame or fear. These statistics from 30 years ago that you cite can be manipulated or understood in different ways, depending on definition and circumstance. If it makes you feel safer to believe that rape doesn't really happen, go ahead and think that.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

For the public's safety and for her physical and mental health, this poor girl should have reported this much earlier. I'm a grad student at EMU and I in the parking lot near the student center often, at that time, to go to the library. Just the knowledge that a rape occurred would have helped me and others be on the look out and more vigilant. I hope now she is getting the help she needs. But this rapist may never be caught now.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 4:34 a.m.

And secondly it's talk like this, shaming and blaming the victim that makes it harder for people to step forward and speak up. You are all but saying that it's her fault that her attacker won't be caught. Nice one. You are putting the blame in the wrong place.

City Confidential

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

Always be on the look out and be vigilant, regardless of what this woman or anyone else decides to do. It's not her responsibility to protect you. She's been through enough.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

Because of her physical and mental health she may not have been able to come forward any sooner. It's a horrible ordeal to contend with. She has no obligation to you or to anyone to come forward.

City Confidential

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 11:50 p.m.

I'm just going to head you all off at the pass... if you are going to comment "Why is she just reporting it now???" then you don't understand the effect that sexual assault can have on people. She might have been terrified, felt somehow ashamed or at fault for not kickboxing her way out of it, or whatever. I wish I could tell her that she did the right thing by coming forward now, it's not her fault that he chose to do this to her and I hope they catch him soon.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

exactly what i was thinking