La Salle Student Was Not Raped: Police

The Easter Sunday attack -- the original information -- "was not accurate," police say

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013  |  Updated 4:52 PM EDT
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College Student Was Not Raped: Police

NBC10.com

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Philadelphia police say the Easter Sunday attack reported by a La Salle student was not as sexually violent as first reported.

"The original information was not accurate," said Capt. John Darby, who is in charge of the Special Victims Unit for the Philadelphia police department.

The victim, 20, told police she was walking along the 4800 block of 10th Street around 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 31. That's about a mile from campus. According to initial reports from law enforcement sources close to the investigation who did not want to be named because they aren't authorized to speak publicly about cases, the student was abducted by four men in a black van, taken to a home, sexually assaulted several times and then dropped off by her attackers in an undisclosed location.

Capt. Darby says those initial reports are only partially true.

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"It was a reported abduction, but not a rape," Capt. Darby said. "There was fondling in the van and then she was let out. It is still very much an ongoing investigation."

When the abduction occurred, the university offered counseling services to the student, but did not notify the La Salle community about the abduction until four days later. University administrators defended the decision, saying the abduction happened off campus and they did not view it as an ongoing threat to their campus community.

Administrators can't say anything about the newest development because of school policy, according to Jon Caroulis, a spokesman for the school.

"The University does not comment about ongoing investigations. We refer all questions to the Philadelphia Police Dept.," said Caroulis.

Police are still looking for the four men in the van, but don't have much detail to provide about their descriptions. They are between the ages of 20 and 25. One man had "MM" tattooed on his face.

 


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