Though Matt Betzen, Chief of the Vermillion Police Department, couldn’t provide any more details regarding the investigation of a reported sexual assault that happened on-campus last week, he was able to confirm that there is no ongoing threat to the community.
“The investigators have no reason to believe there’s a continuing danger to the public,” he said.
Tena Haraldson, director of marking, communications & university relations, said in an email that because the person wasn’t considered to be a threat to the campus at large, no emergency notification was sent out to students.
“There are many steps that do happen immediately,” she said. “A report of a sexual assault is taken very seriously and is fully investigated. But it remains an allegation until police have concluded their fact-finding.”
Haraldson said when a sexual assault is reported, the University Police director consults with the dean of students on whether or not an alert through the Board of Regents Everbridge system is warranted.
“They consider factors such as the nature of the alleged incident, when and where it happened, who was involved and the likelihood that others on campus are in immediate danger,” she said.
Each report is unique and carefully considered, Haraldson added.
Board of Regents attorney Guilherme Costa said in an email that the Clery Act requires the issuance of an emergency notification when there is a dangerous situation that involves an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees. A timely warning is issued when the institution considers the reported crime to represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees, she added.
“The institution must make an individualized assessment of each situation and determine whether the situation meets the requirements to issue an Emergency Notification or a Timely Warning,” Costa said. “There is no general rule that every report of a Clery Act crime on campus requires the issuance of either an Emergency Notification or a Timely Warning.”