UC Police Dept. is investigating a reported sexual battery that happened over the weekend in the Santa Rosa Residence Hall.
The alleged battery occurred Jan. 17 on the 1100 wing of the residence hall between 2 and 2:45 a.m. A woman living on the floor called UCPD to report a disturbance at Santa Rosa Residence Hall. When police arrived, three men who fit the description given by the woman were detained and interviewed, but later released because there was not enough information for an arrest.
“It was believed that they could possibly be responsible, but at the time, there wasn’t enough information to press charges or have them arrested for the crime at the time,” said UCPD Officer Mark Signa. “So at that point they were released with the intent of a follow-up investigation being done.”
The woman who reported the incident told UCPD she found two men she didn’t know in her locked room while her roommate was asleep. Police do not know how the two men gained access to the room, what the third man was doing or where he was that point in time, Signa said.
He said the resident asked the two men to leave the room and they did, but they tried to come back into the room a few minutes later by knocking on the door. She then called authorities and gave them the descriptions of the three men and said they were still in the building.
“There was no in-field lineup done at that point,” Signa said. “It was all interviews and contacts between the officers and the reporting party, and then the three subjects of interest were contacted separately,”
He said the roommate who was asleep at the time told police that she was touched inappropriately while she was in an intoxicated state.
Sexual battery is defined as the unlawful touching of another person for sexual gratification, Signa said.
“In a case where somebody is walking down the street and a guy grabs a female’s buttocks, that would be sexual battery because he was doing it with intent for sexual gratification,” he said.
Both the resident and her roommate were not able to identify the culprits, Signa said, but the investigation is ongoing and the two residents were interviewed again yesterday. At this point, it appears the two women residents do not wish to press charges, he said.
“The difficulty we have is if someone is not willing to press charges, it’s difficult for us to proceed much beyond interviews,” Signa said. “We can’t arrest somebody without charges being pressed for a misdemeanor crime, which sexual battery is.”
But he said the investigation would continue, just in case the victim later decides to press charges.
A third female resident also told UCPD that she talked to three men in the hall’s lounge that matched the description given by the first resident. When she tried to leave, one of them “exposed himself” to her, a UCPD press release said. The third woman declined to press charges or to participate in any criminal investigation, the press release said.
Assistant Resident Director Stephanie Robinson, who lives in the 1100 wing of Santa Rosa hall, said she did not hear of the incident because she was not on duty that night. One of her co-workers told her about it when she returned from the holiday weekend. The other residents on the floor did not come to her to seek counseling because they had not heard about the incident either, she said Monday.
“So far, we’ve done everything we can to support people involved,” Robinson said. “I feel that students were given as much support as possible.”