Search for rape suspect continues at USF

4:33 PM, Sep 21, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Campus police are still searching for a man they say sexually battered a young woman in her dorm.

It happened at Kappa Hall near Dogwood Drive on USF's campus on Wednesday at around 6:50 p.m. Police say the woman did not know her attacker.

USF Police tell 10 News detectives are vigorously investigating this case, but they are still asking for the community's help in tracking down the perpetrator.

"University police have stepped up patrols in the residential area. We have also contacted private security entities on campus and given them the information. USF SAFE team is always out in the evening, it's a student escort safety program," said Lt. Charlotte Domingo with the USF Police Department.

He's described as a white male, 18-20 years old, standing at 5'8" to 6 feet tall, weighing about 180 pounds with a muscular build. He may have short dark or brown shaggy hair. He was last seen wearing flip flops, dark green cargo shorts, and a gray t-shirt.

Anyone with information is asked to call USF Police at (813) 974-2628.

News of the assault has some students on edge.

"It's kind of scary that it happened so close. It's kind of something you see in the movies," said Brianna Stacy, a USF freshman who lives on campus.

"It's a scary thing for anybody, even more so for girls," said USF sophomore Kelli Williams, "It's very scary. It's like all of the things my roommates and I talk about, 'Oh my gosh, stay together, keep the doors locked'."

USF Police notified university staff and students on Thursday afternoon via email after compiling enough information from the victim.

There are many things police will not tell us, like where in Kappa Hall the crime occurred and if the suspect barged into the victim's room. Police say it is all part of the ongoing investigation.

Detectives are also trying to find out how this person got into Kappa Hall. All of the dorms are equipped with card readers which means only students with permission to enter the  building can get in by swiping their student ID. It is also possible someone let the suspect in, not knowing what he was up to.

Police are asking everyone on campus to stay vigilant.

"I leave at 6 in the morning for practice and it's dark. There's nobody out, so I just kind of look around more and notice everything a little bit better, but there's normally security driving around, so it makes me feel a little bit safer," said USF freshman Bethany Evans.

USF Police tell us there are surveillance cameras around campus, but would not say if Kappa Hall had a camera. They would only tell us it is part of the ongoing investigation. 

USF Police are also investigating an early Friday morning burglary at Epsilon Hall, which is near Kappa Hall. Police tell us they captured the suspect in that case. It is not believed to be connected to the Wednesday sexual battery.

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