The Westminster Police Department is investigating a sexual assault that took place early Friday morning on McDaniel College's campus. This is the second reported sexual assault in Westminster in just over two weeks in which the woman did not know the assailant.

The Department of Campus Safety responded at about 12:19 a.m. Friday, Feb.10 to a reported sexual assault. The woman assaulted was a McDaniel student, according to an email sent out by the college obtained by the Times. McDaniel College and Westminster Police Department officials confirmed the reported assault.

Advertisement

The student reported while she was walking at about 12:10 a.m. up the outside steps connecting the old and new sections of Levine Hall, she saw a white male in his 30s, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, 150 to 160 pounds with a thin-to-average build, with a reddish/brown full beard and mustache, according to a news release from the Westminster Police Department. The man was wearing a dark blue or black hooded sweatshirt and dark sweatpants, according to the release. He was sitting on the ledge near the steps, according to the email from McDaniel.

The female student reported she was assaulted and fondled by the unknown male who grabbed her by the hood of her jacket and pulled her to the ground, according to the release from police.

Westminster police investigating sexual assault

Police describe the man as 16 to 20 years, old, slender, 5'8 to 5'10 with no facial hair and a dark complexion. He was wearing all dark clothing and a hooded sweatshirt, according a to a news release from the Westminster Police Department.

The female student fought back, broke free and fled to safety where she told Residence Life staff who immediately involved Campus Safety, according to the email. The woman declined medical attention, according to Westminster police.

The Department of Campus Safety met with the student, and contacted Westminster Police Department for assistance while also securing the crime scene.

The man was not armed, did not make any threat of having weapons and immediately fled the campus toward the city, according to the email from McDaniel.

The Westminster Police Department will be conducting the criminal investigation, Capt. Pete D'Antuono confirmed, adding that there is no indication the female knew the man.

D'Antuono said there is also no indication the man is related to McDaniel College.

The Department of Campus Safety deferred all comments to McDaniel's Office of Communications and Marketing.

Nonprofit View: RCIS partners with schools to raise awareness of sexual violence

Rape Crisis Intervention Service (RCIS) has been working since 1978 to advocate for and support those affected by sexual violence, as well establishing prevention efforts within our community. With generous funding from the Board of County Commissioners, the 2016-2017 school year has created a great opportunity for RCIS to once again have a presence in our public schools.

"We have notified our campus community about the incident and have also provided critical safety tips. As an extra precaution, McDaniel College's Department of Campus Safety and the Westminster Police Department will be adding additional patrols on and near campus, especially at night," Cheryl Knauer, the director of media relations at the college, wrote in an email. "There will also be added enforcement at the location of the assault. As always, the safety and security of our students is of the utmost importance."

The investigation is ongoing, Knauer said.

This is the second sexual assault in just over two weeks that took place in Westminster's city limits, a fact that Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County CEO Janice Kispert called baffling.

"This is unbelievable," Kispert said.

On Jan. 25, a woman reported she was sexually assaulted while walking her dog near Tahoma Farm Road and Md. 31. Officers responded to the area around 2 p.m. and spoke with a woman who said she was walking her dog on a footpath between Tahoma Farm and Long Valley roads when a man accosted her, according to a Jan. 25 news release from the Westminster Police Department.

The man allegedly came up behind the woman and sexually assaulted her, then fled on foot.

Advertisement

Police described the male suspect as 16 to 20 years old, slender, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with no facial hair and a dark complexion. He was wearing all dark clothing and a hooded sweatshirt, according to police.

D'Antuono said he doubted the man from the Jan. 25 incident had a connection to the reported Feb. 10 assault on McDaniel's campus. The descriptions of the two men are very different, he said.

Kispert said she encourages the two women to seek professional help, adding that Rape Crisis offers free services. She said the two women, or other victims of sexual assault, can call the Rape Crisis hotline or come in during their office hours.

"But definitely come in. Let us help you," Kispert said.

The Westminster Police Department and the Department of Campus Safety are working collaboratively and the investigation into this incident is ongoing. Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who may have information as to the identity of the suspect are asked to contact Sgt. Jeff Schuster, Westminster Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau, at 410-848-4646, or send a confidential text to 847411, keyword TIPWPD or contact the TIPS line at 410-857-8477.

A cash reward of $2,500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for this crime.

emily.chappell@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7862

twitter.com/emilychappell13

heather.mongilio@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7898

twitter.com/hmongilio

Resources

Carroll County Rape Crisis Intervention Services hotline: 410-857-7322

Carroll County Rape Crisis Intervention Services office number and walk-in hours: 410-857-0900, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

National Sexual Assault hotline: 800-656-4673



Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement