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FGCU steps up patrols after sexual assault

Posted at 8:08 PM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 20:08:53-04

FORT MYERS, Fla -- The Chief of Police at Florida Gulf Coast University said, Friday, the department is stepping up patrols after a sexual assault took place on campus.

According to police reports, a woman was assaulted in the stairwell of Siedler Hall, the college of arts and sciences. FGCU Police issued a crime alert that said the man accosted the victim but she was able to break free and run away.

Students who spoke with Fox 4, said they are surprised to hear about the incident because the campus is so safe. "FGCU has a reputation being a really safe school, like one of the safest schools," said student Ryan Denson.

Last year, the school had six cases of forcible fondling and no rapes, while in 2016, they've had two rapes and no cases of forcible fondling. Chief Steven Moore at the University Police Department said this is different from any other case he's seen over the last ten years because the perpetrator is a random person unknown to the victim. He said in most cases, a known person is committing the crime. "It's a boyfriend, it's a roommate, it's a known person."

Now, University Police are stepping up patrols in academic buildings. They are also advising students to walk in groups in well lit areas. "We need to be checking the inside of the building, so doing more foot patrol, even more than we usually do," said Chief Moore.

Police continue to look for the man. He was described as wearing a red t-shirt, black jeans, boots and a belt. UPD is questioning cleaning staff that was working that night for further evidence. The victim decided against pressing charges.