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Campus police investigate rape report at Cal Poly

Posted at 3:04 PM, Jun 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-01 18:04:29-04

Cal Poly police are investigating the reported rape of a female student on campus.

Police said the student contacted them and said she was sexually assaulted on the evening of either May 26 or May 27.

"Mostly disgust," said student, Annika Salenjus after hearing the news. "The world lately has been a terrible place to live in and it just seems like it keeps getting worse and this is happening so close to me; It happened in Sierra Madre and I live in the other towers."

The victim said she was walking to her dorm room in the Sierra Madre residence hall when an unknown man approached her from behind, pushed her into her room and sexually assaulted her.

"That was the scariest thing for me was seeing that he was in the building already, like he just pushed her into her room," Salenjus said.

Friday, an email was sent out to campus explaining what happened. Students applauded the university for notifying them so they don’t fall victim of a similar crime.

"I’m glad that an email was sent out," said Mia Shanks who lives in the dorm where the incident happened. "I’m really glad that this is being brought to light."

Police said the man is described as white, approximately 25 years old, 6 ft. tall with short blond or light brown hair and a goatee, with hairy arms, legs and chest. At the time, he was wearing a red short sleeve shirt and shorts.

 "It’s terrible. It’s terrible that it’s happened at all but it’s good that we’re addressing it," said student, Mackenzie Shorter.

Cal Poly’s media relations department responded to the report saying:

Safety and security of the campus community is a primary focus for Cal Poly, and all reports of criminal activity are taken very seriously and investigated as fully and swiftly as possible.

The Dean of Students’ Office is providing support to the student who reported the crime. Meanwhile, the University Police Department is currently investigating this incident and is providing additional patrols around the university’s residence halls.

With emotions running high on the heels of this report:

"Fear, sadness. I’m going to start locking my door," Salenjus added.

Students have a message for the victim:

"I hope she knows that she’s brave," Shorter concluded.

Police are investigating the report and ask anyone with information about the crime to contact police at (805) 756-2281 or Crime Stoppers at (805) 539-STOP if they wish to remain confidential.

Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual assault crime can contact San Luis Obispo County’s crisis line at (855) 886-RISE for support and advocacy 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Students can also contact the counseling center at (805) 756-2511.