Female student sexually assaulted on SMU campus

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by BYRON HARRIS

WFAA

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 12:00 AM

UNIVERSITY PARK — SMU police say they're investigating the first on-campus sexual assault reported in more than a decade.

The student was at the north end of the SMU law quad walking by herself when she was attacked from the rear Monday night by a man wearing a dark hoodie sweatshirt, dark jeans and dark tennis shoes.

"He grabbed her, forced into a bushy area north of the Carr Collins building, and assaulted her," SMU police Chief Rick Shafer told News 8. "At some point, she was able to get away, ran off, and then came in contact with an individual that helped her."

Both the SMU law school and the university hold classes until 9:30 p.m. The assault happened shortly after 9 o'clock.

Taisha Husbands, an SMU sophomore who lives nearby, said she saw a man matching the suspect's description about the time of the attack.

"It fit the description," Husbands said. "The gray sweatshirt, the hood... I mean, when I got the description in the morning, I thought, 'Oh God, let me make sure everything's locked. Turn on the nightlight or something.'"

SMU students were notified of the attack in an e-mail. Campus police are increasing patrols.

Shock at the incident is still rippling through the school.

"We feel so secure in the SMU bubble," said Ashley Tanaka, an SMU junior. "And it happened in an area that's pretty well lit. so I guess everyone's concerned right now, because you can't always have someone walking around with you 24/7."

But that's just what many women on campus will be doing from now on. SMU is also offering self-defense classes and free rides around campus.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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