Georgetown student reportedly raped on 3500 block of O St. on Friday

A woman was raped at her residence on the 3500 block of O Street on Friday, according to a report from the Metropolitan Police Department.

According the the report, the incident occurred at 3:50 a.m. on July 10th:

Complainant 1 reports that while at the listed location, she awoke to an unknown subject laying on top of her having non-consensual sexual intercourse with her. Suspect 1 entered the location in an unknown manner. Complainant 1 was unable to give a description of Suspect 1.

The MPD report does not contain any descriptions of the victim or the suspect.

MPD Communications Specialist Gwendolyn Crump wrote in an e-mail that Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety was notified of the incident, but said she could not comment further on the particulars of the case. DPS and the University’s Office of Communications have not responded to requests for comment.

As of 5:55 p.m. DPS had not sent out a Public Safety Alert about the incident and their Daily Crime Log did not have any mention of it. It is unclear at this time whether the incident is related to the string of sexual assaults that have occurred on and around campus recently.

Update 8:45 p.m. We spoke with the victim who confirmed that she is a Georgetown student but declined to discuss the incident. She said she spoke to DPS about the assault this morning and expects a PSA to be sent out shortly.

However, Georgetown’s Director of Media Relations Andy Pino wrote in an e-mail, “MPD responded to this incident, and no incident report was filed with DPS. We have no information about the victim in this case.”

Update Wednesday 3:35 p.m. Pino just sent the following e-mail:

The complainant filed a report with DPS this afternoon, and a PSA is going out later today. MPD is conducting this investigation, and we’ve reached out to them to offer our full cooperation.

Update Wednesday 4:40 p.m. DPS just put out a PSA about the incident.

Additional reporting by Sam Sweeney.

21 Comments on “Georgetown student reportedly raped on 3500 block of O St. on Friday

  1. DC is total ghetto now.I work there and get the hell out of Dodge at 5 pm for Frederick,MD.

  2. How was the Voice able to obtain this police report? I thought rape/sex crime reports were confidential, for obvious reasons? I might be wrong though.

  3. MPD reports are public information, although for confidentiality reasons they don’t include the exact address or identifying information about the victim.

  4. If the MPD report doesn’t include any identifying info on the victim, how was the Voice able to contact her, if you don’t mind me asking?

  5. Leave her alone and take this down. It’s bad enough.

  6. If someone was raped two blocks from the front gates, the community certainly deserves to know about this incident. Kuddos to Vox for reporting it.

    Susanne, the victim was not identified by name. This strikes me as responsible reporting and a service to the community.

  7. This is tragic. If you or someone you love has been a victim of sexual violence, consider calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or instant messaging with a professional through the Online Hotline at rainn.org. All hotlines are secure and confidential.

  8. I agree with Bailey, the campus community should know about this. If people realize that this stuff happens, they will take extra precautions to safeguard themselves. Knowledge is power!
    I do find one fault however: this is an ALLEGED incident. As of now, there is no proof it actually happened. The responsible journalistic procedure is to report this as an ALLEGED incident until it is proven in a court of law or otherwise. I thought we would all have learned a lesson from the Cooney incident not to jump to unfounded conclusions.

  9. “Re:Bailey”,

    I think you are confusing journalistic practice. I do not think this is treated as an alleged incident; the MPD report assures that the incident did happen.

    If there were a suspect, he would be the alleged suspect. But in a case like this where an immediate investigation reveals that the incident did happen, the existence of the incidence is not alleged, just details such as the perpetrator, motive, even date/time.

    After all it wasn’t “alleged” that the kid in the Cooney case had bruises and had been punched in the face, it was just alleged that 1.) it was gay bashing and 2.) it was done by Mr. Cooney. Likewise, we may not have caught and convicted the Cuddler, but that doesn’t mean that his victims have only “allegedly” been assaulted.

  10. Re: Will

    According to the description, this was certainly NOT the cuddler. I made the same mistake until i read this post.

  11. No, you’re wrong. The MPD report does not assure that it happens. It assures that the woman told MPD that it happened. For the record, I am in no way questioning the victim’s report, I’m just saying that as a reporter, Juliana Brint has a duty to report the facts and not make assumptions.
    Here are some examples of New York Times reporting on rapes. Note that they always use a phrase like “reported rape” not just “rape.”
    http://tinyurl.com/kosd9b
    http://tinyurl.com/kw7d8p
    http://tinyurl.com/npbd9o
    http://tinyurl.com/m42jz8
    Incidentally, a PSA was just put out by Georgetown calling it a sexual assault, not a rape.

  12. The DC criminal code uses “sexual assault” for the crime commonly known as rape. The Clery Act, which is the federal law covering notification of criminal incidents to campus communities, proscribes a category for “sexual offenses” that are either forcible or non-forcible. This is why these incidents are reported as sexual assaults or sex offenses, as opposed to rapes. It’s not because someone has made a determination it isn’t a “rape,” or that there’s an attempt to soften the language.

  13. Okay so you’re right it should be a reported rape (or sexual assault; as Steve pointed out above, the fact that they call it sexual assault is irrelevant to our discussion so far about the term alleged). I still think that there’s a distinction between a “reported” event and an “alleged” event, however. Am I right there? Alleged means “claimed but not proved,” whereas reported just means “made known.” I can’t find any definitions of “reportedly” that imply doubt, whereas “allegedly” does so by definition.

    I also assumed that MPD would have immediately taken steps to determine the truth of the claim, such as using a rape test kit, due to the time-sensitive nature of an investigation like that. I may have been wrong.

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  16. What exactly should Georgetown report about this? I completely agree that it is awful (or at least appears to be awful). And it’s awful that it seems to have happened so close to campus and to a student. But there is very very little actual information, largely because the alleged victim has not given any details. So what can the University say? Is it useful to send out an email that says “A student reported to police that she was raped but could not provide any additional information and will not speak about it”? Or does that lead to a witch hunt where every single person on campus will be trying to figure out “Who was it?” And meanwhile, no valuable information was disseminated. So what good would come from the University spreading the lack of information that it has at this point?

  17. Forgive me for intruding, as I’m not a Georgetown student but do reside in the area. I’d like to clarify one matter:

    Most crimes that occur are “unproven” pending further investigation. Yet a mugging is not described as an “alleged mugging” just because the police have yet to investigate the victim’s story, nor is a break-in reported as an “alleged break-in” just because the police haven’t verified it wasn’t an inside job. Describing rape as “alleged rape” unfairly singles out rape victims as particularly unreliable; this is not done to victims of other crimes (except, perhaps, when police specifically indicate that there are issues with the victim’s story).

    Needless to say, the use of modifiers like “alleged” and “reported,” which implicitly bring the victim’s integrity to question, increases the stigmatization felt by the victim, which has the collateral affect of dissuading other victims from coming forward. Ultimately this affects public safety, as assailants remain free to repeat their offenses.

    There is no empirically justifiable reason for creating the impression that allegations of rape are less trustworthy that allegations of other crimes. Claims of rape that are recanted or proven false make up a tiny fraction of all reports, and an even smaller number compared to the estimated number of rapes that take place. I believe you will find that false reports of property and economic crimes are far more prevalent – particularly when they relate to insurance and tax fraud.

    Regardless of journalistic practice at other newspapers, it is discriminatory and pernicious to single out the veracity of rape victims. Either identify all crimes pending investigation as “alleged” and / or “reported” (alleged mugging, reported break-in, alleged theft, and so on), or none. A routine article on a crime is no place to presumptively question a victim’s integrity.

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