Fifth sexual assault reported on SDSU campus

By MAKENZIE HUBER Managing Editor

The fifth sexual assault of the fall semester is not being pursued by the University Police Department.

The offense was not reported as sexual assault, but forcible fondling. This is a “lower form” of sexual assault, according to Don Challis, vice president of safety and security.

UPD isn’t investigating the case because the female victim in the case didn’t want an investigation. The suspect, however, is under a title IX and student conduction violation investigation.

The victim knew the suspect. The suspect walked into her room and grabbed her inappropriately, Challis said.

The assault took place in Pierson Hall Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. It was reported Oct. 4.

The Jeanne Clery Act obligates South Dakota State University officials and other universities to inform students of any crime that occurs on or around campus. However, this instance did not require university officials to send out a timely alert email.

A timely warning wasn’t needed because it isn’t an “ongoing threat to the community,” Challis said.

Forcible fondling describes an incident where a person was touched in their private areas under or above their clothing by another person against their will, Challis said. It is terminology used in the Clery Act.

A  sexual assault occurred earlier in the semester which also didn’t require a timely warning. When asked about the case earlier in the semester, Michelle Johnson, title IX and equal opportunity coordinator, reminded students that sexual assault encompasses a variety of actions, and “it doesn’t necessarily mean there was penetration or there was sex.”