Sexual assault near Santa Clara University investigated

August 23, 2013 11:37:49 AM PDT
Police in the South Bay hope a new sketch will lead to the man who sexually assaulted a woman just a stone's throw away from Santa Clara University.

I confirmed Friday morning that the victim in this sexual assault is not a Santa Clara University student. But the women I spoke with around campus told me they're obviously concerned about what happened.

This stretch of Franklin Street runs right next to the university's campus.

Police say a young woman was walking alone here just after midnight Wednesday morning when a man grabbed her from behind, pushed her into the bushes, and sexually assaulted her.

"Very brazen, I think she was a very brave young female that, you know, fought off her attacker, scared him. He was probably not expecting that," said Santa Clara Police Lt. Kurt Clarke.

Police have released a sketch of the suspect. He's described as a white man with a light tan, six feet to six feet two inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds, with light brown hazel eyes, and dirty blonde hair in a faux-hawk.

Santa Clara University is currently in summer session. Campus officials sent out an email and a recorded message shortly after the attack that said, "An attempted sexual assault occurred at Franklin and Sherman streets."

"It makes you kind of anxious also," SCU employee Mary Correia said. "Am I safe, am I not safe? You never know."

A popular student bar called The Hut is just a block away. Workers there put up a sketch of the suspect. College students often have late hours studying or socializing; with some saying leaving in pairs isn't always a possibility.

"I'll probably have to walk to my car at some point by myself," SCU student Arianna Cardoza said. When asked if it makes her think twice about getting somebody to walk with, she answered, "Of course, but at the same time this kind of thing happens in any city."

University officials say there are some students living on campus during the summer session. The fall quarter does not begin until September 23.


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