A Sunday incident of indecent exposure on east campus marks the latest in a series of sexual crimes reported recently at Stanford. There were five reports of sexual battery or indecent exposure between April 7 and 30.
Bill Larson, a spokesperson for the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS), wrote in an email to The Daily that campus police cannot currently determine any connection between the incidents besides similar suspect descriptions in two sexual batteries that occurred on April 7.
Thus far, only one suspect has been apprehended. According to SUDPS’s website, the victim in that case declined to press charges and the suspect was escorted off campus.
“We continue to actively investigate the other recent incidents in an effort to identify the suspects,” Larson said.
In the first instance of indecent exposure, a female student was followed into her west campus residence by a man described to be in his early thirties. The man exposed himself before leaving and could not be located after. In the second instance, a male exposed himself to three victims traveling together on the east side of campus. The suspect was described as between 30 and 50 years old and drove away in his vehicle before he could be taken into custody, according to SUDPS.
The other three incidents reported this month were all cases of sexual battery in which victims were groped from behind. Two of those incidents were reported on April 7, and the third occurred on April 26.
The two incidents of sexual battery on April 7 occurred approximately 20 minutes apart, at 10:40 p.m. and 11 p.m., on the 600 and 800 blocks of Escondido Road respectively. Although SUDPS cannot definitively attribute the incidents to the same suspect, the victims provided nearly identical descriptions of a bald, white male adult in their reports to police.
April’s third sexual battery took place in the Mitchell Earth Sciences building. The alleged attacker’s description did not match that of the suspect in the April 7 incidents. Police removed the suspect, a white male unaffiliated with Stanford, from campus.
SUDPS advises community members to be constantly aware of their surroundings, walk and run on paved and lit paths, stay in pairs and be wary when opening doors of “piggybacking,” which might allow unknown people to follow behind into a secured building or residence.
Larson also recommended options such as 5-SURE, a service that escorts students who feel unsafe in a particular situation to and from any campus location. 5-SURE operates seven days a week from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Contact Veronica Kim at vkim70 ‘at’ stanford.edu.