MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police are investigating and a crime alert has been issued after a woman was sexually assaulted early Sunday near the University of Minnesota.

Authorities said the incident happened sometime between 2:40 a.m. and 3:10 a.m. near the area of 15th Street SE and Brooks Avenue SE in the Marcy Holmes neighborhood of Minneapolis. Police said a 19-year-old woman, who is a University of Minnesota student, was walking home alone from a party when she was approached by three men.

“A group of three men approached her. They began trying to make general conversation with her. At that point, the main suspect was able to gain control of the victim,” Minneapolis Police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington said.

University of Minnesota Police Chief Greg Hestness said two of the men held her, while one raped her.

“She’s a fighter. She did everything that she could to get away and was successful and at that point, the three assailants fled,” Barrington said.

No arrests have been made and no similar assaults have been reported.

Police gave a vague description of the man who sexually assaulted the woman, describing him as between 30 to 38 years old and 5-feet, 8-inches to 6-feet tall with a light build. He was wearing a dark jacket, dark shirt, jeans and work boots at the time of the incident.

Hestness said it is important for students to be careful.

“There are certain things you can do to reduce your risk,” he said.

There are services available at the University, like the Gopher Chauffeur and an escort service through the police station, where they have people who will walk a student to their destination.

“As my daughter told me when she was a student at the U, one of your friends should refrain from drinking,” he said.

Hestness also encouraged students to not text while out late at night — and don’t hesitate to call 911, if they feel afraid.

“We’d rather prevent a crime than respond to a tragedy that is likely to have a life-changing impact on somebody,” he said.

Minneapolis Police are investigating the incident as an off-campus crime, and anyone with information is asked to call police at 612-692-8477.

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