ETSU: Report of sexual assault on campus

ETSU campus

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – East Tennessee State University officials are investigating a report of a sexual assault.

According to an ETSU Public Safety Department release, public safety officials received a police report on Tuesday in regards to a forcible fondling/sexual assault that reportedly happened on Monday.

A female student reported that the incident, involving a male student who was an acquaintance, happened in a vehicle in a residence hall parking lot area around 3 p.m. on Monday.

ETSU spokesperson Joe Smith told News Channel 11 the complainant did provide the name of a respondent and public safety officers are investigating the report. He believes officers have spoken with the individual as the investigation continues.

“Unfortunately being on a college campus we know that sexual assault is a very underreported problem, anytime we hear about this it’s very troubling but I think it’s important that when these are reported that you do have open conversation, people talk about what is a sexual assault but also for anyone who’s been a victim of it to know that we want them to come forward,” ETSU Spokesperson, Joe Smith said.

Smith said ETSU had two reports of sexual assault in the previous academic year. One report was in August 2016, one this past February. Those cases are both still open.

In the safety notice, ETSU offered safety tips like familiarizing yourself with the blue phones on campus if you have to use them and it is unlawful to touch someone without that person’s consent. They also mentioned considering resources available through the university like http://www.etsu.edu/violencefree and http://www.etsu.edu/safety.

You can reach the ETSU Public Safety Department by phone at 423-439-6900 or 423-439-4480.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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