Police investigate sex assault on UWS campusPolice report an alleged assault occurred at the University of Wisconsin-Superior following a night of dancing at a nightclub in Superior.
By: By Laura Podgornik/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Police report an alleged assault occurred at the University of Wisconsin-Superior following a night of dancing at a nightclub in Superior.
The students hadn’t seen each other at the club, but they ran into each another in a dormitory stairwell at UWS in the early morning hours of March 4.
The female student reported the male student seemed highly intoxicated and she offered him a ride back to his dorm in Ostrander Hall, where the alleged assault occurred.
Superior Police Investigations Sgt. Rick Hughes said sexual assault cases in Superior are commonly reported by people 18- to 24-years-old. Hughes said these cases usually also involve alcohol.
“Typically that’s what we deal with,” he said. “I mean, we’ve had the other kind too. I mean the very serious sexual assault, you know, violent sexual assault types of cases, but typically it’s the … college age out at the bars, meeting friends or meeting someone through a friend, going back to house parties or dorms or apartments and things are fine to start with but then it goes too far.”
The woman, whose name isn’t being released, told police she entered the man’s dorm room but did not intend to engage in sexual activity. Following the assault, the young woman went to the hospital and filed an anonymous report.
Hughes said, a few days later, she came to police. Police interviewed both parties and conducted an investigation while coordinating with UW-Superior Campus Safety. The case was then turned over to the District Attorney’s Office. Attorney James Boughner said the case is still under investigation, although police say it lacks the evidence for prosecution.
Hughes said sexual assault cases are among the most difficult to prove.
“We get one story from the victim that it went to this point and I told the person ‘No’ or to stop and then when you go talk to the suspect, it’s like ‘no it was consensual’ and ‘so she did say no I stopped’ and you know things like that,” he said. “So you’ve got what they typically call the ‘he said, she said’. These two were the only two there. We don’t have any way to prove otherwise. So, it typically just makes it difficult for the District Attorney’s Office to have a solid case in those situations. And a lot of times it might be something plea bargained down in some kind of a deal in the ones they do end of charging out to some extent.”
The assault is one of ten sexual assaults reported to Campus Safety since 2004. None have been prosecuted.