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University Police identify suspect in Baits I sexual assault

By Adam Rubenfire, Daily Staff Reporter
Published December 6, 2011

University Police have identified and interviewed a suspect in Monday’s sexual assault in Baits I Residence Hall, according to University Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown.

A student reported being sexually assaulted in Baits I Residence Hall on Monday at about 11 a.m. by a "visiting acquaintance," according to a crime alert sent out Monday evening. DPS officers were looking for a suspect described as a light-skinned black man in his 20s with an "average build," the crime alert states.

Brown confirmed that the sexual assault was classifiable as rape — which according to the Michigan Penal Code includes circumstances in which the the actor sexually penetrates the survivor — per the survivor's account of the incident.

According to Brown, police could have arrested the suspect when they identified him if “existing elements” were present, like if they felt the suspect posed a “threat to the community.” But because the suspect is an acquaintance of the victim, Brown said police have not yet arrested or charged the suspect with any crime.

Brown said the case will be sent to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s office to determine possible charges.The county prosecutor may authorize specific charges he believes are warranted following the results of the University Police investigation.


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