A University freshman was raped by a security guard at the Medical School last month, and another unidentified student was raped in her home on the 4100 block of Spruce Street December 30 in two unrelated incidents. The freshman, according to sources close to the case, was at the Medical School complex late at night and asked a University-hired security guard to escort her to her dormitory. Sources said the guard then raped her in a secluded part of the building. Sources said the guard was suspended without pay within two hours after the student reported the rape. After confessing to the crime, he was fired by the University. In the other incident, University Police officials said a student was raped by an intruder in her off-campus apartment at about 10:30 p.m., December 30. Police would not say how the intruder gained entry to the building. The student first reported the rape to the Philadelphia Police Department. University Police then picked up the report of the rape on the police radio and began a joint investigation. University Police Director John Logan said there are no suspects and would not release a description of the assailant. Both Logan and University Police spokesperson Sylvia Canada said Police Commissioner John Kuprevich has instructed them to not to release more specific details of the case until he returns from New York Thursday. Logan did say, however, the investigation was going "very well." Officials at the Philadelphia Police Sex Crimes division would not release any information on the case yesterday. University Police also declined to release any information about the Medical School rape, saying it was being handled by George Forman, the director of facilities management for the Medical School. Forman declined comment yesterday, saying only that the incident has "been handled." Forman refused to elaborate on how he handled the incident. According to Assistant Biochemistry and Biophysics Professor Jacqueline Tanaka, a faculty member in the Medical School, the student called building security for an escort, and, when he arrived, was raped by him. Jeffrey Jacobson, co-chairperson of the University Council Safety and Security Committee said the woman asked the uniformed security guard to escort her home. "He said 'I need to get a package' and took her to a room," Jacobson said. "He did this on purpose to get her alone." "It was a situation that a rational person would believe to be safe," the College junior added. Tanaka said that the woman declined to file charges, apparently in fear that if her parents learned of the incident, she would have to leave the University. Instead, Tanaka said, the student reported the incident to the guard's supervisors. "It took less than two hours to suspend him without pay," after the incident was reported to supervisor, Jacobson said. "Subsequently he admitted to it and was terminated." Some school security officers, Jacobson said, were embarrassed by the incident. He said that as long-time University employees, they worried how this would be viewed by the public. "This was a very tragic but isolated incident," Jacobson said. "The last thing we need is to have people afraid of the security system at the University." Jacobson said the security guard was hired by the Medical Complex, which includes the school, and that two background checks were done on him prior to his employment. The checks showed no prior convictions. He emphasized that the guard was not a University Police officer or a contracted guard. One officer on duty last night declined to give his name but indicated that he knew the assailant. "Regardless of how thoroughly you check a person's background an apple could go sour any day," he said. "In the past, a situation which gets out to the public, can result in charges not being filed," she said yesterday. She said in assault cases, filing charges is not necessarily the "first thing on their minds." "The goal always is to allow the survivor to gain control," she continued, saying that "the focus is how to get that control." "We always try to attend to the medical, academic and emotional needs of the survivor," she said. She added that the University's support system is one of the best in the country. "It is a model for other schools in the country," Dilapi said. "The vice provost for university life has an emergency protocol which pulls together all of the support services." These are the first publicized student rapes since the summer of 1989, when a University student was raped at 6:30 a.m. on Pine Street on her way to work.Comments powered by Disqus
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