Updated: Sketch of rape suspect released

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April 28, 2008

8:48 PM

An undergraduate woman at the College reported that she was raped early last Tuesday morning in a parking lot on South Boundary St., according to an e-mail to students by Vice President for Student Affairs Sam Sadler.

The woman had just completed a night of studying and was returning to her residence hall between three and four in the morning when a man driving a black car — whom the victim thought she knew — offered her a ride home in front of Phi Beta Kappa Hall.

“Once she got into his car, she realized she did not know the man but he sped off before she was able to get out,” Sadler said. “She was taken to a parking lot adjacent to the homes on South Boundary Street. Our student reported the rape took place there.”

No one has been arrested in the case, but Sadler offered a description of the assailant: A thirty year old white male with broad shoulders and a goatee, wearing a baseball cap. Sadler said that the assailant is not believed to be a student.

“This afternoon our primary concern has been providing appropriate medical attention and other forms of support to the woman who was assaulted,” Sadler said.

He also told students to avoid being out alone at night.

“I know this is exam time and you may need to be out late studying,” Sadler said. “Avoid, if at all possible, being out by yourself — either walking around campus or in the community or studying in isolated locations. Please don’t be shy about asking someone to walk or study with you and, if you are asked, please help if you can.”

Sadler recommended calling the College’s campus escort system, which offers rides home to students at night. The Campus escort number is 757-221-3293. He said that if anyone has information about the incident, to call Campus Police immediately at 757-221-4596.

“I know I speak for all of us when I say how very sorry I am that something like this could happen to a member of our community,” Sadler said. “Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she begins the process of recovery. And, please – stay safe yourself.”

**UPDATE: Wednesday, April 29, 2008. 3:50 p.m.**

In an e-mail to students this afternoon, Sadler released more details about the assailant.

“The car the assailant was driving was a 4-door, black sedan with a dark interior and VA license plates,” Sadler said. “In addition to the other descriptions of him, he is said to have had brown, short hair; a brown goatee; and brown eyes.”

Sadler also cautioned students walking alone at night to forgo use of a cell phone or iPod.

“We aren’t as aware of our surroundings as we need to be when we are distracted by our music or by a phone conversation,” he said. “So, please, pass up using your iPod or phone if you are out walking by yourself at night. You will be more aware of everything going on around you if you do.”

**UPDATE: Friday, May 2, 2008. 6:00 p.m.**

Sadler released a sketch drawing of the assailant in an e-mail to students. He urged anyone with information to contact Campus or Williamsburg Police.

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