Get Email Updates from NBT
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) is investigating a seemingly random act of criminal sexual contact inside one of the school’s dormitories.
The alleged crime took place on Friday, October 13 at approximately 4:30 PM inside Mettler Hall, located on the university’s flagship “College Avenue Campus” in New Brunswick’s Sixth Ward.
“In this incident the victim… reported that while sitting in her residence hall room with the door open, an unknown male entered the room and began to kiss her while also touching her chest and groin over her clothing,” reads the crime alert sent to the campus community three days later.
It’s not clear who the assailant was, though the crime alert noted a limited description: a “thin, college aged white male, with blonde hair.”
“The victim reported that she was able to distance herself from the male and demand that he leave the area. The male then complied and left in an unknown direction,” reads the October 16 alert.
The scene of the crime is located in College Avenue’s Bishop Quad, home to Mettler, as well as Brett, Tinsley, and Demarest Halls.
As reported by the Home News Tribune, “The alleged incident came just one day after former vice president Joe Biden visited the university’s New Brunswick campus to promote the It’s On Us campaign, which is designed to educate, engage and empower students and communities across the country to end sexual assault.”
ABC New York also covered the crime, pointing out that “Rutgers received a $2 million federal grant to expand university-wide services, training and education for victims of sexual assault.”
Their coverage also noted that the reported assault comes at a time when survivors of sexual violence are increasingly coming forward and publicizing the crimes against them.
“It seems like she reported it really quickly and said something,” Rutgers student Shannon Stone told ABC’s A.J. Ross. “Finally, people are feeling like they can say this happened to me and we need to address it.”
The RUPD has asked that anyone with information, or who may have been in the area at the time, to contact their Detective Bureau at 848-932-8025.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.