Police report reveals that MPD, DPS misrepresented Sunday’s sexual assault

Vox has obtained a Metropolitan Police Department report that shows that both MPD Lieutenant John Hedgecock and the Department of Public Safety misrepresented the nature of Sunday’s sexual assault in Burleith.

According to the report, the victim woke up to the suspect “having vaginal intercourse with her.” Although both MPD and DPS Director Joseph Smith made comments that suggested that the suspect entered the home without force, the suspect—described as a white male with brown hair and an average build—broke into the victim’s S Street home by removing an air conditioning unit attached to a window, according to the report.

The report says that the suspect fled after the victim began to yell, “Get off of me!”

The report lists the assault as second degree sexual assault, which is described as a crime where victim is “[i]ncapable of appraising the nature of the conduct,” “[i]ncapable of declining participation in that sexual act,” or “[i]ncapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in that sexual act.”

On Tuesday, Hedgecock told the Hoya, “This was a preventable crime. Students have to lock their doors and protect themselves by staying in groups.” (Smith echoed Hedgecock’s recommendations.) However, these new details show that the crime would have been difficult to prevent.

The suspect is still at-large.

17 Comments on “Police report reveals that MPD, DPS misrepresented Sunday’s sexual assault

  1. That is absolutely terrifying. No surprise on my end that we get the bullshit answer of “locking our doors and protecting ourselves by staying in groups.” The woman was in her home and the man removed an a/c unit from the window. I’m pretty sure no one goes to the trouble of removing an a/c unit if they could just walk in the unlocked front door. This just goes to show that MPD is focusing on stopping the wrong crimes. Maybe if they focused more resources on actual safety, things like this wouldn’t happen. I lived a block away from that house this summer and I wasn’t afraid to walk alone outside at night because Burleith doesn’t normally see many violent crimes. I guess I won’t make that mistake again because these incidents seem to be happening more and more, and I don’t believe for a minute that there is substantially more partying than there ever has been, so the excuse that their force is busy breaking up parties doesn’t hold water.

  2. Not that I’m going to advocate against locking the door, but I’m not sure how this crime could have been prevented by anyone other than the perpetrator, so please don’t talk down to us as if we’re four years old, MPD. Also, how creepy is it to force intercourse on someone who’s still asleep??

  3. Let’s not pretend ‘forcing vaginal intercourse’ is close to accurate – the term is ‘rape’, and it’s more than simply ‘creepy’, it’s illegal and reprehensible.

  4. “Forced vaginal intercourse” : rape :: “Students should learn to lock their doors” : MPD has absolutely no idea how to prevent these crimes

  5. this is despicable on the part of the police.

    report the hell out of this. find ways we can change mpd’s behavior on this.

  6. @Julie

    Sorry, I should have said “creepier” – meaning that while I don’t think it’s any more illegal to rape someone who is asleep than who is awake, I’m significantly more scared at the idea of being sexually assaulted in my sleep than while awake. I was not implying that this man’s actions were not criminal, and I’m sorry if you took my comment that way. I do stand by the phrase “forced intercourse,” though, because it’s more specific than “rape” or the legal term “sexual assault” in explaining what actually happened – that the assault was vaginal intercourse and not one of the many other acts that fall under the category of “rape.”

  7. When this sicko gets caught, every hoya should be allowed to take a swing at him.

  8. MPD telling us to “lock our doors and walk in groups” to prevent a crime where the perpetrator “broke into the victim’s S Street home by removing an air conditioning unit attached to a window” shows just how little they care about what happens to Georgetown students. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but the girl yelling “get off me” is a pretty clear refusal of sex.

    Yet another case of victim blaming by the MPD… had she locked her door, she would have prevented the perpetrator from climbing in her window and raping her while she was asleep!

    This girl was raped, and the fact that they classify it as anything other than that is not only dangerous, but ignorant and disgusting.

  9. Hey Vox: You all are going to ask MPD & DPS about this, yes? I really am curious how they are going to try to wiggle out of it.

  10. at least the parties next door were shut down by SNAPS!

  11. Sorry to be posting all over the place, but you’re writing about it all over the place and misrepresenting DPS involvement. DPS was informed of this incident well after it happened and reported what they were told (which included that the home was entered by force…read the PSA!). DPS was not notified when the incident happened, did not respond, did not investigate. It was off campus and involved a non-GU individual. Blame MPD all you want, but DPS had nothing to do with this, for better or for worse. And, the lock your door message is completely legit, since it is rare that any of the crimes in the neighborhood involve forced entry, as this one did. All of your casting aspersions on DPS doesn’t in any way help the victim of this terrible and scary crime.

  12. No, the response DPS gave is absolutely important because it is totally dismaying. Chris isn’t saying that they were involved in the criminal investigation, he’s just drawing attention to the reaction, which suggests a terrible (and lazy) mindset. Joseph Smith *knew* that the rapist entered her home by force, and his response was *still* about how students need to remember to lock doors and walk in groups? He said we needed a *lecture*?! That’s preposterous!

    This is the man who is leading the men and women who are responsible for our safety, and if he responds to a member of another community who’s a survivor of a horrible crime like this, well, I find that terribly discouraging and I start to worry. Maybe Smith is the most sensitive and diligent guy in the world when it comes to sexual assault. But I think asking where he and DPS are coming from is a totally legitimate question, based on how careless his remarks were.

    [“It has become something of a mantra at safety lectures, but it bears repeating: Lock your doors and windows; walk to and from campus in groups, particularly late at night; walk in lighted areas and avoid alleyways; report suspicious persons to the police; call for SafeRides or security escorts.”]

  13. I don’t think the remarks were careless. I haven’t read any quotes suggesting that the crime could have been prevented by locking doors and windows or walking in groups. If anything it seems Smith meant to show that crimes like this happen even in the neighborhoods around campus, so students (especially those not used to living in an urban environment) need to be aware and take precautions. I’m not sure what sort of response you were expecting.

  14. Pingback: The Audacity of “Some Students” « georgetown girl

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