University of Iowa warns of sex assault at fraternity house

Victim reported 'unknown assailant'

University of Iowa police. (file photo)
University of Iowa police. (file photo)

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa for the first time this semester is notifying the campus about a reported sexual assault — this one involving an “unidentified fraternity house” and an “unknown assailant.”

In a Wednesday crime alert, the UI Department of Public Safety reported the alleged victim arrived at the fraternity house with friends over the weekend but got separated from her group. The victim then was assaulted by an unknown person, according to the crime alert.

The message doesn’t give a specific time or date for the alleged assault — only that it occurred over the weekend of Sept. 23-25. Because the report was not made directly to UI police, the department is not investigating at this time, according to UI spokesman Anne Bassett.

She said the university can’t disclose details about the victim — including gender.

The university last week released the results of its long-awaited climate survey showing 1 in 5 female undergraduates who completed the questionnaire reported being raped since enrolling at the university.

The survey, conducted last fall, also found about 11.4 percent of first-year undergraduate female respondents reported being raped during their first semester. More than 56 percent of those who reported unwanted sexual contact, coercion, or violence said the offender had been drinking during the incident, and more than 64 percent said they too had been consuming alcohol.

UI officials advised caution in interpreting the results as just 2,683 of a potential 28,787 UI students — or 9.3 percent — completed the survey that gauged sexual violence on campus. Most of the respondents — 1,972 — were women.

Officials said students might be more likely to complete a climate survey if they have experienced some type of sexual assault or are an advocate in some capacity.

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The university last week also rolled out a new two-year campus anti-violence plan informed by the survey results. One of its goals envisions “ending sexual misconduct, dating violence, and stalking on our campus,” said Monique DiCarlo, UI sexual misconduct response coordinator.

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