Utah State University police are investigating after three people reported being sexually assaulted on the school’s campus Friday night.
One individual reported they were raped, and two others reported they were groped, USU spokesman Tim Vitale said. He didn’t release where on campus the assaults were alleged to have occurred, nor whether the victims or the accused were students.
Vitale said police are investigating if any of the assaults were connected to the Halloween Howl event held on campus Friday night, which brought approximately 6,000 people to the university. He added that 40 police officers staffed the event, in addition to 150 trained student volunteers.
The university alerted students of the assault reports just before noon Saturday through its timely warning system, a protocol mandated under federal law that requires schools to tell students of potential dangerous crimes reported on or near campus.
Anyone with information helpful to the investigation can contact USU police at 435-797-1939, or visit the police station at 800 E. 1250 North in Logan.
Another individual reported being sexually assaulted at a USU fraternity house on Aug. 31. An alert from the university stated, “Drugs may have been used to facilitate this crime.”
Several high profile sexual assault and harassment cases in recent years have been reported at the school, including allegations against former USU linebacker Torrey Green. Those accusation came to light in 2015, and he was later convicted of attacking six women.
At least three other USU students have been charged or convicted in sexual assault cases alleged to have occurred since 2013, including a complaint against Ryan Wray, then-president of Pi Kappa Alpha, and another against Jason Relopez, then a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Wray pleaded guilty to attempted forcible sex abuse and was sentenced to six months in jail. Relopez pleaded guilty to attempted rape and forcible sexual abuse, admitting that he sexually assaulted two women in two years. He was sentenced to a year in jail.
In response to those cases, USU has put new policies in place to provide annual training to employees who are likely to receive reports of sexual assaults. It has also created reforms for its Greek system.
USU is still under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for its response to campus sexual assault in a federal review announced in 2017.
As part of its timely alerts, the school tells students they “have a responsibility to make our community safe.” It suggests that students should speak up or ask campus police or employees for help if they see people speaking or behaving inappropriately.
It also reminds students of the importance of receiving consent before engaging in sexual activity and links to a university website that further details what consent is and how to ask for it.
The website, consent.usu.edu, says, “Consent is an agreement to do the same thing at the same time in the same way.”
The alert also outlines resources available to victims of sexual assault.
It ends saying, “The health and safety of the campus community is USU’s primary concern, and the university’s Amnesty Policy excuses students who report sexual misconduct from facing discipline for a violation of the student code involving drugs and alcohol.”