University Police investigate report of indecent assault

May 03, 2014

This notification is in compliance with the “Timely Warning” provision of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- An indecent assault was reported to University Police at 3:28 p.m. on May 3. The reported assault occurred between approximately 1:45 and 2 a.m. on May 3 in the south loading dock area outside of McElwain Hall. McElwain Hall is located in the South Residence Halls Complex, adjacent to Simmons Hall. 

The victim, a student, reported that they were inappropriately touched by an unknown male. The suspect, who is unknown to the victim, is described as a college aged white male, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, with dark hair and thick eyebrows. The suspect was wearing a dark sweatshirt and dark sweatpants.

It can be assumed that conditions continue to exist that may pose a threat to members and guests of the University community. It is the duty of the institution to warn of possible “dangerous conditions” on or near the campus, and at affiliate organizations off campus; an “affirmative duty” exists to warn persons associated with this University of possible peril at the hands of some third party or parties.

Anyone with information that might be helpful in this investigation, can contact:

Penn State University Police at 814-863-1111; 26 Eisenhower Parking Deck, University Park, PA 16802; or anonymously at by clicking on “Report A Crime”.

Submit tips to Centre County Crimestoppers at Those providing information that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a reward of as much as $1,000 from Centre County CrimeStoppers.

University Police reminds members of the community to:

-- Call 814-865-WALK for a free security escort. Do not walk alone.

-- Report crimes and suspicious behavior immediately to University Police.

-- Always lock your residence hall door. Do not allow unescorted guests into the building.

-- Be vigilant, and aware of your surroundings.

-- Be respectful. If you are uncertain whether your partner is comfortable with your behavior, ask. You can simply say, “Are you okay with this? “NO” means NO and “I’m not sure” means NO.

-- Understand that a person who is drunk is NOT legally capable of giving consent. If the other person is not capable of making an informed decision, do not have sex or any sexual contact.

-- If you’re going to drink, drink responsibly. Most sexual/physical assaults follow drinking by one or both individuals. In addition, be aware of how alcohol affects you. If drinking makes you more aggressive, you could be in danger of sexually/physically assaulting someone. Being drunk is not a defense for committing sexual/physical assault. Excessive consumption of alcohol may make you more vulnerable and significantly distort your memory and recall of events.

-- Avoid leaving a social event or being alone with someone you just met. When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends and watch out for each other. Arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening and leave together.

-- Never leave a drink unattended or accept a drink that you did not see poured.

-- Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably is not a safe environment. Remove yourself from the situation or location.

-- If you are sexually or physically assaulted, find a safe environment, anywhere away from the attacker. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you for support.

-- Know that what happened was not your fault and that now you should do what is best for you.

-- Go to a clinic or emergency room immediately. You can decide later whether or not to press charges, but it is critical that you receive medical attention and caring support as soon as possible.

-- Report the attack to police immediately by calling 911.

-- Preserve evidence of the attack. If you are sexually assaulted do not change clothes, bathe or brush your teeth.

-- Write down all the details you can recall about the attack & the attacker.

Resource/hotline numbers:
-- Centre County Women’s Resource Center: 877-234-5050 (24-hour hotline) or 814-234-5050
-- Center for Women Students: 814-863-2027
-- Center for Counseling and Psychological Services: 814-863-0395
-- Student and Family Services: 814-863-4926 or the crisis line at 814-863-2020
-- National Sexual Assault Hotline (free, confidential counseling, 24 hours/day): 800-656-HOPE

Last Updated May 03, 2014