USU issues warning after sexual assault reported at fraternity house

LOGAN — Utah State University issued a “Code Blue Alert” Thursday after a student reported a sexual assault that occurred at a fraternity house. The alleged incident occurred August 31.

Amanda DeRito, Director of Crisis Communications at USU, said university officials wanted to be pro-active in warning the rest of the campus about what happened. They were concerned after the witness met with campus support services earlier in the day, explaining that there might have been a type of date rape drug that led to the assault.

There is some indication that the sexual assault was facilitated by a drug and so we just felt it really important to educate our community, remind them about how to protect themselves and others,” explained DeRito. “It is just really important to us to be transparent. We believe that it is up to all of us to make our campus safe. We feel like if we are transparent with our community, then they know what to do, to help keep our campuses as safe as possible.”

The alert explained that the alleged suspect is unknown at this time. It advised that if anyone has information about the crime, to contact USU Police.

Even though fraternity houses are affiliated with the university, they are located off-campus and in Logan City limits. Because the fraternity is connected with the university, federal regulations require the university to make students aware of the assault.

DeRito said she did not have any information about what fraternity may have been involved. Since the crime was reported to the university by a third party they don’t know the identity of the victim yet.

Logan City Police Assistant Chief Jeff Simmons said they are not presently investigating the assault. He explained that officers and investigators have not received any report of the assault yet.

DeRito said university officials also sent out the alert to remind students that between now and Thanksgiving break most sexual assaults occur on campuses throughout the country. It is often referred to as the “Red Zone.”

“Not only our research on our campus, but research across the nation at other campuses show that most sexual assaults occur within that time period,” said DeRito. “There is a much more increased risk especially for under-graduate women.”

The alert comes after a string of sexual assault investigations at the school. In March, former USU football player Torrey Green was sentenced to 26-years-to-life in prison after being convicted of raping or sexually assaulting six women. The rape case of another former player, Jamaal Evens, will begin October 30, more than a year after he was arrested for allegedly raping a woman at a party.

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