Sex Offense Reports Up Around Penn State

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC10.com

    The number of reported sexual offenses on Penn State University's main campus and around the surrounding town of State College has been increasing recently.

    Since the beginning of the fall semester on Aug. 15, there have 16 reports of rape, sexual assault and indecent assault this year, according to State College Police. That's up from 12 reports in 2012 and 11 reports in 2011.

    Two of the reported assaults took place in the past month and involved current Penn State students.

    One student was possibly drugged and sexually assaulted by an unknown male at a fraternity over the weekend of Oct. 12, according to Penn State University Police.

    Last weekend, another student told police she was raped off-campus by a man she knew. Authorities are investigating both cases.

    State College Police Chief Tom King says sexual offenses are typically under-reported so it's hard to determine whether there has actually been a jump in such assaults.

    "We continue to encourage victims of sexual crimes to report them to our police department since we want to not only investigate the crimes and hopefully hold the suspect accountable, but also to make sure the victim is aware of and receives all of the services available to assist her through such a traumatic incident," he said.

    King added that should the actual number of assaults be increasing, it would be a discouraging fact. He added that the community must continue to educate people about what is and is not consensual sex, especially when alcohol is involved.

    Penn State's Code of Conduct for alcohol and consent states that "intercourse without consent, under conditions of force, threat of force, fear or when a person is unable to give consent because of substance abuse, captivity, sleep or disability," is considered sexual misconduct or abuse.

    According to the school's policy manual, Penn State doesn't tolerate sex assaults or relationship violence and prosecutes perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.

    More than 45,300 students attend Penn State's main campus in University Park, Pa. and 13,700 students live in on-campus housing.


    Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.