"We're going to be spending more time in those areas," UPD chief Bill Watton said. "Our number one priority is to watch for a pattern or a group of assaults." Andrew Ross, Mustang Daily

The investigation of the alleged sexual assault that occurred last Tuesday is at a standstill. San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) watch commander Bill Proll said no new information on the case has been received since an alert was sent out to all Cal Poly students on Friday.

According to the report, the alleged assault occurred at 6 p.m. on the pedestrian path off California Boulevard that leads to Mustang Village.

The alleged victim was approached from behind by three males, one of whom pulled her to the ground. The incident was halted as a cyclist approached and the suspects fled the scene, according to the report.

The report was then released and emailed to Cal Poly students by University Police Department (UPD); there have been no new developments. Proll said that without witnesses and no lead on the suspects, the investigation has stagnated.

“The person isn’t even sure if she could identify the suspects right now,” he said.

On campus resources do not have a lot of insight into the situation either.

Since the alleged assault occurred off campus, the investigative work is being done by SLOPD. UPD chief Bill Watton said the current role of campus police is to promote safety and prevent more assaults.

“We’re going to be spending more time in those areas,” he said. “Our number one priority is to watch for a pattern or a group of assaults.”

Watton also said UPD will increase the number of officers patrolling the area where the alleged assault occurred. They will have both uniformed and undercover officers there after dark.

This alleged assault brings up several incidents that occurred during the last academic year.

Last March, after an alleged sexual assault report, three more were reported in the following 10 days.

Those alleged assaults brought about forums on safety on campus, and a loud response from Cal Poly’s Sexual Assault Free Environment Resource (SAFER) and UPD.

AmeriCorps VIP for SAFER Kyle Rosso said its lack of involvement in this sexual assault stems from the Clery Act — legally, SAFER can only be involved in cases that fall under the Clery Act.

“The Clery Act only covers incidents that occurred on campus or on campus-affiliated property,” Rosso said. “Last year, the assaults were in Poly Canyon and a fraternity house, both of which fall under that.”

However, psychology junior and SAFER educator Caitlin Fuller said SAFER’s resources are available to anyone who wants them.

“We have short-term crisis counseling, where you can talk with us confidentially,” she said. “All of our educators are certified rape crisis counselors.”

Last quarter, 13 people used the crisis counseling, 10 of whom had been victims of sexual assault.

Mustang Village resident Jake Devincenzi said the apartment complex administrators never released an alert about the assault to its residents. He heard about the assault through friends who live on campus.

“I wouldn’t have known about it if UPD hadn’t sent anything out,” he said. “Mustang (Village) didn’t send us anything.”

Devincenzi said he takes the path where the alleged assault occurred to and from campus multiple times a day. He never feels unsafe when walking alone.

“But I’m a tall guy,” he said. “I imagine walking back from a 6 to 9 p.m. lab would be scary if I was a girl.”

Other Mustang Village residents have expressed a need for more lighting on the path in the past.

Mustang Village administration could not be reached for comment.

Rosso stressed that just because this alleged assault was reported doesn’t meant this is the only one on campus. Statistically, one in four female college students and one in 10 men are sexually assaulted, and less than five percent of those assaults go reported.

“Ten people came in to talk to us, but if less than 5 percent report, that means over 190 people didn’t report it and didn’t come forward,” Rosso said.

Watton stressed the importance of staying safe on campus and being conscious of your surroundings.

“Spread the message,” he said. “This may be the happiest place in America, but things still happen.”

Join the Conversation


  1. This area lacks lighting and I know they talked about making this area safer for students when I went to school here (2005-2009) – something needs to be done as a lot of students walk this way home to Stenner Glen/Mustang Village.

    1. For a path that is used by probably at least 10% of cal poly students on a daily basis, it should really have better lighting.

  2. FYI to everyone, the “statistically, one in four female college students and one in 10 men men are sexually assaulted” is a “fact” with no proof whatsoever. I always hate hearing that comment thrown around.

    If anyone can find a study that proved that number is true, please post it here.

  3. Bob,

    Thank you so much for your question about the statistics. Here are a few sources that can help.

    1) The Virgina National Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Allience’s “Violence on Campuses” Fact Sheet along with their citation of Robin Warshaw’s “I Never Called it Rape:” (The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape. New York: Harper Perennial.)

    2) The U.S. Department of Jutice’s Research Report entitled “The Sexual Victimization of College Women” (Fisher, Cullen, Turner: National Institute of Justice)

    3) Joetta Carr’s “American College Health Association Campus Violence white paper” (Journal of American College Health, 2005)

    4) “Reporting Rape in a National Sample of College Women” (Wolitzky-Taylor et all., Journal of American College Health, vol 59 no 7, 2001)

    5) The CDC’s “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report” (begins on page 27 of the report)

    6) “Men Struggle for Rape Awareness” is an article published January 23rd, 2012 by the New York Times (you can find this online)

    7) And finally, visiting websites such as 1in6.org or RAINN.org is always a great source of information.

    As always, you are more than welcomed to come into Safer if you have any further questions.

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