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UPDATED: MUWPD investigating alleged on-campus sexual assault

September 7, 2012

The Mississippi University for Women Police Department is investigating an alleged on-campus sexual assault from August.

In a release issued Friday, MUW officials confirmed a female student reported Tuesday that she was the victim of an Aug. 16 sexual assault by a male acquaintance in a campus residence hall.

MUW’s release did not state an exact time or place of the incident.
Mary Slater, interim MUW police chief, would not comment on the incident due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

MUW President Jim Borsig said MUWPD is working with the Columbus Police Department on the investigation. Campus residence hall workers and police officers, he said, are working diligently to ensure campus safety.

“Having a secure campus is very important to us as a university. We have an excellent police department and community living staff that are both taking further steps to make sure our campus remains safe,” he said. “(To students), we want to place emphasis on being aware of surroundings and always making smart choices.”

The university’s gated campus has numerous gated entrance points open during the day — secondary entrances open between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekends — and one main 24-hour entrance that is manned by a guard, MUW University Relations Executive Director Maridith Geuder said.

It is not known how the suspect gained access to campus.

According to MUW’s website, its campus has six residence halls: Callaway, Columbus, Grossnickle, Hasting/Simmons, Kincannon and Jones halls. Geuder said five of the dorms house female students.

It is not known where the incident occurred, but Geuder said students use keycards to gain dorm access.

“Our investigation is ongoing, and we do not want to reveal details that might compromise it,” Geuder said.

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