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WJU student says she was assaulted

September 27, 2012
By TYLER REYNARD - Special to the Herald-Star , The Herald-Star

WHEELING - Police have launched an investigation into a 20-year-old Wheeling Jesuit University student's allegation that she was sexually assaulted by five fellow students in a campus dorm Saturday night.

According to Wheeling Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball, the woman said she and a male classmate were together Saturday night at the Rathskeller. Commonly referred to as the "Ratt," the on-campus pub serves beer and nonalcoholic drinks.

The pair then went back to Thomas More Hall, the woman said, near the Currie Drive entrance to the campus. According to the university's website, Thomas More Hall houses male and female upperclass students. Rooms are divided into "quads," which house four to six students in two to three bedrooms. Each quad also has a separate lounge area, equipped with a locking door.

The woman told investigators she and the man engaged in consensual sex in the lounge area. She also reported she had consensual sex with another male student who entered the room. At some point, Kimball said, five men were in the room with the female and she was no longer consenting.

"When asked if she had refused or attempted to refuse, she claimed to have said 'no' to certain acts with certain people, but said, 'There were five of them and only one of me,'" according to a police report.

None of the woman's roommates were in the living area at the time of the alleged incident.

Kimball said the woman reported the alleged crime to police on Monday morning. Detectives are in the process of gathering statements from the five male suspects. When the investigation concludes, Kimball said, the evidence will be turned over to the Ohio County Prosecutor's Office, which will decide if charges will be filed.

The woman was examined at a local hospital, Kimball said, but the results of that examination are not yet available.

Wheeling Jesuit President Richard Beyer on Wednesday said the university received a student complaint within the past 24 hours, but he would not be more specific regarding the nature of that complaint.

"Any complaint is taken seriously, and we have a very specific process in place to address any issues brought forth by students," Beyer said, adding that campus safety is his top priority.

 
 

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