Two sex-assault attempts are reported at Gustavus

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 7, 2011 - 9:53 PM

Same man is suspected in attacks on students.

Authorities suspect the same man tried to sexually assault two women while they walked alone at night last weekend at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.

The first attempt occurred near the Melva Lind Interpretive Center about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. The second was near the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Police Chief Matt Peters said the attempted assaults were in "not vulnerable areas, really pretty good lighting" and carried out by "a complete stranger to these two victims," both Gustavus students.

Peters said he "cannot think of [another case of] an unknown suspect accosting a student like this" in his 13 years as chief.

He said police have a description but were withholding it because it is so vague.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jeff Stocco said the "intent [of the perpetrator] was to commit a sexual assault," but he declined to be more specific.

Both women suffered minor injuries and did not require hospitalization, Stocco said.

Additional campus safety personnel have been deployed in response to the assaults. Students, faculty and staff were invited to a campus-only forum Monday about the assaults.

Vogel added that there are several crime-prevention services available, including a Campus SafeRide escort program between 6 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. daily, on-call safety officer escorts, 24-7 locked residential halls, a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team), and several crime awareness programs.

PAUL WALSH

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