Two rapes, one sexual battery reported at Notre Dame over the weekend
Two rapes and a sexual battery were reported on the campus of Notre Dame over the weekend.
All three were reported as happening in men’s residence halls.
The University of Notre Dame Police Department and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor are investigating one of the rape cases at the victim’s request.
Notre Dame spokesman Paul Browne released a statement that reads in part:
"Of the three recently reported incidents of sexual assault, one is being investigated by the Notre Dame Security Police, supported by the county prosecutor, who personally responded along with a deputy prosecutor. In the other two incidents, the complainants elected against law enforcement involvement at this time, and the cases are being pursued administratively by the University.”
St. Joseph county Prosecutor Ken Cotter recommends survivors report all incidences of sexual crimes, regardless of whether they wish to press charges.
“I would encourage all victims to report it to law enforcement. Let us investigate that as best we can and make a determination of whether or not we can file a criminal charge. The university only has so much power to be able to affect another person, all they can deal with is their students.”
These reports come just after the first week of school.
Notre Dame students were sent emails following all three incidents.
The emails provide some guidelines and resources to students.
They explain that consent must be given for sexual contact of any kind, and that the perpetrator, never the survivor, is at fault.
Students say they generally feel safe on campus, but remain aware of the recent events when going about their day to day lives.
“I’m glad to know that when i open up my email on any given day i can see if there’s been some sort of crime on campus, and the general nature of the crime. Maybe where it was at. If anything else it kind of gives you a reality check that there are dangers out there,” said Joshua Savage, a Notre Dame law student.