Three months to the day an 18-year-old woman reported that she was sexually assaulted on San Jose State’s campus, university police asked the public’s help in identifying a possible witness.
A press release sent out by University Police Department (UPD) Captain Alan Cavallo reports that the female student was sexually assaulted in one of the university’s dormitories on March 15. The suspect came into the student’s room in Washburn Hall and assaulted her at approximately 9:30am.
While the suspect is still unknown, cameras in the dormitory captured a blurred image of a man that may be able to help with the investigation. The witness is a white male who stands roughly six feet tall, weighs about 200 pounds and was wearing a grey, V-neck shirt on the day of the assault.
SJSU has an alert system for emergency notification and ongoing threats, but no alert was sent out following the incident in March.
Capt. Cavallo told San Jose Inside that UPD does not believe that the sexuall assault required an emergency notification and the suspect did not pose an ongoing threat.
“If it was an ongoing threat or an emergency notification, we would have broadcast it across campus,” Cavallo said. “As this is a developing investigation, it’s not an ongoing threat, so therefore it isn’t going to be broadcast that way.”
The Clery Act, also known as the Student Right To Know Act, requires SJSU or any university to provide information about certain crimes to the community. On the list of crimes that would warrant an alert are sex offenses, forcible and non-forcible.
In the UPD’s 2015 Annual Safety Report, sexual assault is defined as “a form of sexual misconduct and is an attempt, coupled with the ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”
UPD said that the suspect was not an ongoing threat despite this definition.
The U.S. Department of Education has a handbook on campus safety and security reporting, and a spokesman noted in an email that schools with their own police departments must maintain “copies of crime reports; the daily crime logs; records for arrests and referrals for disciplinary action; timely warning and emergency notification reports; documentation, such as letters to and from local police having to do with Clery Act compliance; letters to and from campus security authorities; correspondence with us regarding Clery Act compliance; and copies of notices to students and employees about the availability of the annual security report. Institutions are directed to date all documentation, and keep it easily retrievable.”
To report information on alleged crime and/or male pictured, UPD is asking people to contact Corporal Sean Farrell of the SJSU Police Department at 408.924.1313.
If one wishes to remain anonymous while providing this information, they can call 408.337.2919 or email [email protected]. Another anonymous resource available to the public is calling Crime Stoppers at 408.924.2236 or reporting anonymously here.
Below is a video released by SJSU police.