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10/11/2006

RHPD, Winthrop Police Investigate Sexual Assault

Quick Facts

 Rock Hill Police and Winthrop Police are seeking a man accused of fondling a woman at an off-campus sorority house.
 The suspect is described as a black male with muscular build.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Area police are looking for a man suspected of entering an off-campus sorority house on Park Avenue extension near Winthrop University, fondling a female who rents a room there and then leaving, according to the Rock Hill Police Department and Winthrop officials.

The 18-year-old woman, who is not currently enrolled at Winthrop, told Rock Hill police she awoke about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday to find a man sitting on her bed. He reportedly told her he had a knife and told her to turn away from him. The victim reports he fondled her and left. She screamed, awakening a roommate, and authorities were then called. Police say the only available description of the suspect is that he is a black male with a muscular build.

The woman, who attended Winthrop last year but did not return this fall, is an inactive member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, which entitled her to rent space in the sorority house. Winthrop sororities and fraternities that maintain off-campus houses operate them independently and establish and maintain their own security procedures. University officials said they are posting alerts at residence halls and other campus facilities and e-mailing students to inform them of the near-by incident and reminding students to take precautions at all times to protect themselves.

The victim was provided medical attention and the services of the Winthrop victim advocate. No sign of forced entry was found at the house. Winthrop University Police are participating with the Rock Hill Police Department in the continuing investigation.


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