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2 Assaults Reported On Gustavus College Campus

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By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV, and Susie Jones, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

ST. PETER, Minn. (WCCO) – Officials at Gustavus Adolphus College are investigating two attempted sexual assaults that were reported over the weekend.

Police said that they think one person is responsible for the assaults.

The first incident happened around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, near the Melva Lind Interpretive Center. A second incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Sunday near the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science.

In both assaults the student victims fought fiercely, causing the attacker the run away, police said.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

“I cannot think of a time when we’ve had a similar case,” said St. Peter Police Chief Matt Peters, who has worked for St. Peter Police for 14 years.

“We always see students walking alone on campus and think how great that is,” Peters said. “Now we will reinforce the fact that they need to walk with someone else.”

“It’s unsettling,” said Jeff Stocco, the dean of students at Gustavus. “At the same time, we have to move ahead and figure out way to keep our students and our staff safe.”

The college has sent e-mail updates to parents and students, and Campus Safety has increased patrolling. The college has also encouraged students to walk together and use the college’s 24-hour security escort service.

Stocco said students need to be more aware of their surroundings and that headphones and cell phones can hinder awareness.

“I guess it makes me think to be more careful,” said Maria Bryan, a student at Gustavus.

Students WCCO spoke with said the college was doing a good job of handling the situation and that they still felt safe.

Both assaults are being investigated by Campus Safety and the St. Peter Police Department.

All students, faculty and staff were invited to the campus-only forum at 5 p.m. Monday to receive more information regarding the assaults and to ask questions. Hundreds attended the meeting.

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