Police urging caution in wake of sexual assaults

Public safety officials in the city of Pullman and at Washington State University are urging area residents to be watchful in the wake of two sexual assaults reported in the past week in the city of Pullman.

One rape reportedly occurred at 1:30 a.m. Thursday (March 18). The Pullman Police Department reported that when two women entered their residence in the vicinity of Spring and Main streets on Pioneer Hill, they were confronted by a man with a firearm. He bound one woman and sexually assaulted the other.

Pullman police also are investigating a home invasion sexual assault that took place early Tuesday (March 16) morning in the College Hill section of the city.

Pullman police said the suspect in the Thursday assault matched the same general description and used a similar method of operation as the suspect in two attacks committed on Pioneer Hill last year.

Police in the city and on the WSU campus urge residents to lock their doors and windows and report any suspicious incidents. Anyone with information on either case can contact Pullman police at (509) 334-0808; those wishing to leave an anonymous tip may do so at (509) 334-2249. Composite drawings of the suspects in the sexual assaults are available at the City of Pullman Police Department Web site at www.ci.pullman.wa.us/police.

Most WSU students are currently away from campus for spring break. Classes resume Monday (March 22).

The university will sponsor an open campus and community meeting on sexual assault prevention at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, at the Compton Union Building Lounge. Representatives from the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Student Conduct, the WSU and Pullman police departments, Counseling and Testing Services, Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, Health and Wellness Services, the Office of Greek Affairs, Residence Life and Athletics will be available to answer questions.

The WSU Women’s Resource Center publishes a Sexual Assault Prevention Resource Guide to provide general information about policies, programs and services pertaining to sexual assault prevention, educational outreach and survivor support. The center’s goal is to inform members of the WSU and Pullman communities of the serious nature of sexual violence and its impact on society. The guide is available online at http://www.wsu.edu/~wrc/Advocacy/assault.html.

Related Web sites:

WSU Police Tips for Staying Safe: http://www.wsu.edu/police/tips.html
WSU Counseling and Testing Services: http://www.counsel.wsu.edu/self-help/assault.html