UMass police no longer investigating second reported sex assault

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — Police at UMass Dartmouth are no longer investigating a reported sex assault after the alleged victim changed her report.

Through interviewing the female student and investigating over the past few days, police learned she “significantly changed her original version concerning the suspect and location of the allegations.”

The student no longer wants to pursue a criminal investigation or charges, according to UMass Dartmouth Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Emil R. Fioravanti.

The student initially reported being sexually assaulted by an unknown male in the fourth floor common area of Pine Dale Hall on April 29. At the time, it was the second reported assault in that building in a matter of days.

On April 27, UMass Dartmouth sent out a separate advisory about an incident reported the day before. In that incident, the student said a male suspect entered her room through an unlocked door. A description of the suspect was not provided.

The university’s Department of Public Safety continues to investigate that incident.

The school released a statement to Eyewitness News Friday morning.

UMass Dartmouth has a unified approach and numerous programs to create an inclusive and safe environment for all our students, faculty and staff. We have a well-defined and thorough process to respond to reports of sexual assault and harassment in a sensitive and professional manner.

Our Office of Students Affairs; Office of Women, Gender and Sexuality; Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Department of Public Safety work very closely together on the issue of sexual violence, building strategies to prevent incidents and implementing processes to respond to issues.”

The strategies being employed by the university include publicizing the resources available to victims and taking anonymous surveys to assure students are well aware of those services, as well as having staff trained specifically to deal with these types of cases, including six members of the Department of Public Safety who are trained as sexual assault investigators.

Anyone with information about the reported sex assaults or any similar incidents should call the Silent Witness/Police Tip Line or call (508) 999-8477. Community members can also report any suspicious activity to the Department of Public Safety at (508) 999-9191.

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