The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 40.0°F | A Few Clouds

MIT Warns Students of Convicted Rapist

By Katherine Shim
News Editor

A man convicted in 1991 of raping two Harvard summer school students has allegedly approached one MIT student and two Harvard students since his July 15 release from state prison, according to a memorandum sent to all living groups by the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs.

Convicted in 1991 of raping two Harvard summer school students, Baptiste was sentenced in June 1991 to 9 to 10 years in state prison and was to be released on parole after having served one year, said Harvard Police Lt. John F. Rooney.

Since the balance of his sentence was suspended for five years, Baptiste was released from Cedar Junction State Prison June 29.

Baptiste was also accused of harassing students at MIT and Boston University.

Baptiste is described as a black male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and 140 pounds. He is approximately 40 years old.

In a memo released by Harvard officials in 1990, Baptiste was described as approaching young males in the Harvard Square area, posing as a Harvard professor, admissions officer, or other Harvard employee claiming to be able to get them into Harvard, The Harvard Crimson reported.

The memo stated that Baptiste invited at least two male students to dinner, "served them large quantities of alcohol, brought them back to his apartment, and ... engaged them in sex against their will."

When the MIT and Harvard police published a description of Baptiste in 1990, several other MIT and Harvard students said they had also been approached by Baptiste.

Baptiste sighted in July

In July, Campus Police received an unconfirmed report that a person fitting the description of Baptiste "approached someone living in an MIT residence," according to the ODUESA memo.

"Because of unconfirmed reports of harassment by a person fitting the description of Baptiste and other reports of people being approached by a person who identified himself as Baptiste in the past, students must be careful," said Campus Police Chief Anne P. Glavin.

"Though I do not believe that Baptiste is a persona non grata at MIT, he has no reason to be here, and students should be wary if approached by anyone fitting his description," Glavin continued.

On July 17, Harvard Dean of Students Christopher S. Queen issued a memo warning Harvard summer school students that a man fitting the description of Baptiste has allegedly approached two students, The Crimson reported.

According to Rooney, a black male allegedly approached two individuals on different occasions and attempted to ask them to dinner.

Rooney declined to confirm that the suspect was Baptiste.

Police to warn students

Campus Police plan to inform incoming freshmen and returning upperclassmen of the release of Baptiste. "In the freshman packet that will be going out we will repeat the alert we published in Tech Talk over the summer. And in the "While You Were Away" handout given to all students, we will capsulize the information about Baptiste," Glavin said.

Glavin stressed that "this is not to panic anyone."

Andrew M. Eisenmann '75, assistant dean for student affairs and campus activities, said that freshmen will be informed of Baptiste in their R/O Counselor sessions.

"In the meeting with the R/O Counselors, there will be a general discussion of safety on campus and in the Boston area. People will be given guidelines on how to deal with anyone who might potentially attempt to harass or rape them," Eisenmann said.