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Sexual Assault Prompts UC Berkeley to Add Additional Staffing Supporting Victims, Investigations

The positions added will help investigate sexual assaults and support victims, according to university officials.

University of California at Berkeley police shield. Photo Credit: Charles Burress
University of California at Berkeley police shield. Photo Credit: Charles Burress
By Bay City News—

University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks said new staff positions will be added to help investigate sexual assaults and support sexual assault victims just days after a male student allegedly sexually assaulted a female student leaving a fraternity party, university police said.
 
At about 12:15 p.m. on Saturday the female victim reported being sexually assaulted by a male acquaintance during the previous night, according to university police.
 
The victim told university police that she was at a party hosted by a fraternity and had been drinking alcohol. She realized that she was intoxicated and asked a male student to walk her home, university police said.
 
The 18-year-old male undergraduate student walked the victim to her residence at Unit 1, located at 2650 Durant Ave. and sexually assaulted her between 10:30 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to university police.
 
UC police have identified the suspect, described as an Asian or Indian male, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds, with a medium complexion, brown eyes and short curly black hair.
 
"We know who he is and where he lives," UC Berkley police Lt. Eric Tejada said today. Before arresting the suspect, the case is being presented to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office for review, Tejada said.
 
The assault remains under investigation, university police said. UC police are reminding members of the campus community to travel with a friend or a group when going somewhere after dark.

Campus police are urging members of the community to consume alcohol sparingly and use cab services to get home. Campus police are also reminding the community to use the free night safety services, which begin at dusk and remain active through sunrise each day.

According to the university's night services website, the Cal community is encouraged to use nightly services such as the BearWalk, which dispatches an escort to walk someone home between dusk and 4 a.m., the night safety shuttle bus which runs from 7:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. and a free door-to-door pickup service, which runs from 4 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
 
For more information on transportation at night on and near the Berkeley campus, visit: nightsafety.berkeley.edu.
 
Chancellor Dirks issued a statement to the campus community Tuesday announcing that additional personnel would be available to address sexual assault prevention and support.
 
Dirks said in a statement posted on the UC Berkeley website that a confidential survivor advocate position is being created on campus to "assist victims in navigating the reporting process and help survivors secure emotional support and resources in the aftermath of an assault."
 
The chancellor also announced the authorization for an additional investigator in the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination. This position is in addition to a new investigator hired last fall and will assist in expediting investigations into sexual misconduct, Dirks said.

The chancellor said that the university will "hold members of our community accountable for violating campus sexual assault policies."

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