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Male student sexually assaulted, culprit unknown

By Emily Tate, Managing Editor

A male Miami student was sexually assaulted by another, unidentified male at 1:30 a.m. Friday morning near Cook Field, according to a case report from the Miami University Police Department (MUPD).

The sexual assault survivor told MUPD he did not recognize his assailant, who attacked him in the grass east of Cook Field, toward the equestrian center.

He described the offender to MUPD as a six-foot white male with short dark hair and brown eyes. On the morning of the assault, the victim remembered his perpetrator was clean-shaven, wearing black jeans and red and black Nike shoes.

The student survivor reported the incident to Officer Chris Sopher at 8:01 p.m. Friday, almost 19 hours after the assault.

Claire Wagner, director of university news and communications, said this is not considered a "late" report, as many sexual assault survivors will wait months to report the crime, if they report it at all.

Because the perpetrator is unknown and at large, he is considered a potential threat to student safety, Wagner said. This is enough to warrant a Campus Crime Alert, which MUPD sent to Miami students, faculty and staff in Oxford at 11:02 p.m. Friday night.

Wagner said she doesn't recall many male-on-male sexual assault cases in the last few years, and thinks they are rare at Miami.

"I think maybe it's an opportunity to tell other students, no matter what your gender is, you have a support system here on campus," she said.

Wagner cited Becca Getson, Miami's sexual assault response coordinator, as one of the many resources available to sexual assault survivors, and said the fact that this student reported the assault is already a good sign.

"You can't get help if we don't know," Wagner said. "I hope that the student reaches out [for help]."

Wagner was not able to say whether drugs or alcohol were involved, if the student was alone, whether he intends to press charges against his attacker or if he sought medical attention. She also couldn't discuss specific details of the assault itself.

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Captain Ben Spilman is MUPD's public information officer and could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. Officer Sopher and Lieutenant Jim Bechtolt declined comment for this story.

MUPD is investigating the case. If the perpetrator is found, MUPD will not issue another crime alert, but the "Recent Crime Alerts" page will be updated on its website.

If anyone thinks they have information related to this case, contact MUPD at 513-529-2222.