• UofM police identify sexual assault suspect, do not issue campus alert

    By: Zach Crenshaw

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis has identified a suspect in a recent sexual assault. They told FOX13 they “will be requesting an indictment.”

     

    The reported sexual assault happened early Sunday, but the university has not formally notified students about the alleged attack.

     

    The UofM does have a policy about issuing warnings, but FOX13 found the policy is somewhat subjective.

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    On Sunday morning, a female student told police she was sexually assaulted in her dorm room at the Carpenter Student Complex. She told investigators that the suspect was a non-student who she saw at a gathering earlier in the night, but then came into her unlocked room while she was in bed around 2:00 a.m.

     

    On Tuesday afternoon, students at the university had not heard about the reported sexual assault, and were not happy to find out that warning notification was not sent.

     

    “I would rather know about it. I like to know what is going on where I live, what's surrounding me,” said Zara Rudow, a student at the university.

     

    “People have a right to know what's going on, on their campus,” said Kevin Ydrovo, a senior.

     

    FOX13 emailed police about their alert policy to find out why a Tiger Alert or notification was not issued.

     

    They sent us their online policy: https://umwa.memphis.edu/umpolicies/UM1760.htm

     

    The policy states: “A warning must be issued when both of the following conditions are met.”

     

    The first, is that a crime is reported to the University Police, like sexual assault. The second is that “the crime is considered by the university to represent a continuing threat to students or employees.”

     

    Determining a continuing threat is “decided on a case-by-case basis in light of all the facts.”

    Many students said they were concerned by the case-by-case basis.

     

    “I think it is way too subjective,” said Rudow.

     

    “I don't think that is really up to them to decide. I think the students and the general population should be allowed to know what's going on,” said Ydrovo.

     

    The MPD’s Sex Crimes Unit is assisting the campus police in the investigation. President David Rudd asked the UofM Police Chief to formalize a relationship with local agencies to specifically help in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault.

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