Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sex Crimes Increase on UC Berkeley Campus

By Rachel Swan
Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Anyone who's traversed the UC Berkeley campus has probably seen Haviland Grove, that shady clearing amid the eucalyptus trees that surround Valley Life Sciences Building. It's known, alternately, as a good make-out spot (if you're in high school), a shelter from the sun's UV rays, and even a "nature area," of sorts. Granted, it's always seemed a little creepy, and now we have even more reason to think so. A recent spate of on-campus sex crimes — including two in the last week — all occurred within that area. Last Thursday at 10:50 p.m., a female student was grabbed inappropriately while walking by the east side of the VLSB, The Daily Cal reports. Then, at 12:30 a.m., another student was robbed and sexually assaulted while walking through Haviland Grove, just yards away from where the first attack took place. In both cases, the suspect was described as a thin man in his 20s. The first victim said her attacker was around 5 foot 11 inches tall, whereas the second victim thought her attacker a bit smaller, at 5 foot 6 or 5 foot 7 inches. Still, there were enough similarities for UCPD lietenant Alex Yao to connect the dots. At the very least, he told Daily Cal reporters, "We're not ruling anything out." These sex crimes follow on the heels of another reported grabbing, on April 3, and two others in the fall. Police have increased vigilance in the area, and they urge witnesses to call the department's criminal investigations bureau at 510-642-0472.

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