The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Campus on alert after assault announced

Last week the SMU Police Department released sketches of three male suspects wanted in connection with the Dec. 27 sexual assault of a woman not affiliated with SMU. The woman was assaulted in the parking lot south of Moore Hall around 1:30 a.m.

A campus alert was issued, but because SMU students were away for winter break few knew about it.

The sketches were not released until last week.

“It is not typical to release sketches right away,” said Sgt. C.B. Rodriguez.

When asked why the police waited so long to post the report, Rodriguez said they were concerned they would exhaust their leads.

But after the sketches ran in The Daily Campus last week, the Police department collected several tips.

“We’ve received eight phone calls since Thursday’s paper was released,” said Rodriguez on Friday afternoon.

According the SMU Police Web site, “the decision to issue a timely warning is made on a case-by-case basis in light of all facts … including factors such as the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts.”

She added that the case is not a typical date rape case in which the offender is clearly identifiable. It is an ongoing investigation, she said.

Campus crime alerts are posted when a Clery Act crime is reported to the SMU Police and the crime is considered to be a “serious or continuing threat to the campus community,” according to the SMU police department’s Web site. The crime also must occur in one of four property categories: on-campus property, residential facilities, non-campus property and public property (for definitions, see

The alert is posted on the Web site as well as on brightly colored flyers distributed in residence halls, dining halls, academic and administrative buildings and parking garages.

Last year five sexual assaults, one attempted sexual assault, one stabbing and two assault cases were reported.

The SMU police department encourages students to check its Web site for crime alerts.

The most recent crime alert posted is from Oct. 26, 2006, under the side bar entitled, “PD NEWS.”

Police posted flyers in residence halls after the Dec. 27 report, but no other effort was made to inform students of the assault when they returned in January.

SMU police attempt to issue the warning within 24 hours after the crime is reported.

SMU strengthened its sexual assault notification policy for students in 2005. Not only are crime alerts issued when a student reports being sexually assaulted on campus, but now off-campus crimes are also reported.

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