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Wellesley Student Alleges Three Rapes

By Katherine Shim
News Editor

A Wellesley College student reported March 3 that she was sexually assaulted as she slept in her dormitory room -- the third such assault the student has reported in the last three weeks.

In each of the three sexual assaults, the student claimed that she did not see the attacker. She also reported being sexually harassed in early February.

The student told Town of Wellesley police that she had fallen asleep completely clothed while studying in her second floor dormitory room in Pomeroy Hall at around 1:30 a.m. March 3. She awoke naked at approximately 3:30 a.m. and had been knocked unconscious, Wellesley police said.

Police said their initial interview was not enough to determine whether the woman had been raped. They will conduct another interview with the woman again, The Boston Globe reported.

The woman told police that she did not see her alleged attacker because she was unconscious and could not provide a description, Town of Wellesley Police Chief Thomas J. O'Loughlin told the Globe.

After the most recent report, the woman was taken to Newton-Wellesley Hospital by police, where she was treated and released. She is now staying with friends out of town, Wellesley College Police Lt. Kim Delaney said.

Town of Wellesley police have no suspects, and other dormitory residents interviewed said they did not hear or see anything suspicious, according to the Globe. In addition, two Wellesley police officers who were stationed in the lobby of Pomeroy Hall and adjacent Cazenove Hall at the time of the attack did not see or hear anything unusual, police said.

O'Loughlin said there was no evidence of forced entry into the room, though the woman told police that she locked the door, according to the Globe.

"This is the third sexual attack on this victim and we will investigate thoroughly until we can come to a conclusion," O'Loughlin said. "We have had detectives working 24 hours on the other cases and have had two police officers stationed at this dorm 24 hours a day. We will continue to be aggressive with our investigation."

Other reported rapes

On Feb. 18 the woman reported to police that a man hiding in her closet raped her on Feb. 17 around 11:45 p.m., while she was asleep. She did not see the attacker. Also, six days earlier, the woman reported that she was raped in her dorm room by an unknown male who entered the unlocked room and assaulted her at 3:30 a.m.

Also, on Feb. 4, the woman reported to campus police that she was walking to the Wellesley Science Center the previous night when a man stepped out in front of her, grabbed her arm, and slapped and punched her in the face.

According to O'Loughlin, the woman told police the man "said things to her which would make us believe he knew her, but that doesn't necessarily mean she knew him."

The woman was able to describe the man who assaulted her on Feb. 3 as a white male, 6 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 4 inches, 190 pounds, with brown hair and a medium build, wearing jeans and a dark jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves, according to the Globe. Physical evidence from the three subsequent attacks has not yet been reviewed by the police.

The woman also reported that her dorm room was broken into while she was out of town between Feb. 7 and Feb. 9, and two checkbooks and a photograph of her were missing.

Security measures taken

Wellesley Assistant Vice President of Administration Barry Monahan told The Wellesley News that shortly after the most recent incident was reported, security personnel were assigned to every floor in Pomeroy and Cazenove halls to note who was coming from and going into the room.

After the alleged Feb. 17 incident, locks on dormitory rooms were changed and electronic security systems were recoded.

O'Loughlin, who met with concerned students Tuesday night, said he would increase patrols on the campus and would continue to station two officers at the Pomeroy and Cazenove dormitories around the clock, The Wellesley News reported.