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A female student awoke to a male fondling her in Harnwell College House early yesterday morning.

The assault occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m., according to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush.

Penn Police and the Special Victims Unit of the Philadelphia Police are currently "questioning" an individual in connection with the incident, Rush said. She explained that the perpetrator was "absolutely" someone who had access to the building, and that "there was no breach of security" involved in the assault.

"This does not appear to be someone coming in from the outside," she said.

"There was no one in the building... wandering around."

After awakening, the student "chased [the suspect] out of her room and chased him to another floor and then lost him," Rush said. She added that the student "immediately went down to the front desk, where she told the Allied Spectaguard on duty what happened."

The Spectaguard then called 511, and relayed the information to the University Police, Rush said. Police and security officers then arrived on the scene and checked the entire building, concluding that all perimeter doors were secure and alarmed, she added.

Rush said the investigation into the incident, which began immediately following it, will include examining videotape from the closed-circuit television patrols in the college house and looking at the building's access control log, among other things.

"Our investigation is very strong and we expect to be able to be making additional announcements in the next day or two," Rush said.

She urged students to be vigilant about personal security, saying, we "really need people to lock their doors in the dorms when they go to sleep at night."

While police would not confirm which high rise the assault took place in, several Harnwell College House officials said that the incident occurred there.

Saying that she had heard of the incident, House Senior Fellow Laura Basini said that "it is being investigated."

Faculty Master David Brownlee would not comment on the specifics of the incident, saying, "It's a sensitive matter, as you can imagine."

Rameez Dossa, who works at the Harnwell information desk, said that by yesterday, some residents had heard about the sexual assault.

"I'm aware of it, but we haven't been provided with any information," Dossa said.

This is not the first dormitory room assault to occur this year.

On Aug. 27, an employee of subcontractor Penn Jersey Window Cleaning was arrested after allegedly entering a female graduate student's Hamilton College House dormitory room and "basically indecently assaulting" her.

Marshall Thompson has since been charged with attempted rape, burglary, criminal trespass, unlawful restraint, indecent assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and false imprisonment.

And last fall, a man allegedly gained access to the Quadrangle, entered a female student's room and attempted to rape her.

Jacob Leslie Dallas was arrested in connection with the attempted rape.

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