Stanford says woman reportedly raped in on-campus basement; university makes security enhancements

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Stanford says woman reportedly raped in on-campus basement
Campus police at Stanford University are investigating a second reported on-campus rape to happen in the last two months.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Campus police at Stanford University are investigating a second reported on-campus rape to happen in the last two months.

Police said a mandated reporter notified authorities of the alleged sexual assault that happened Friday afternoon inside a university building.

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The victim said she was in an office when a man came in, grabbed her, dragged her into a basement and raped her.

As explained in an update published by Stanford, "A person who has a legal obligation to notify law enforcement about certain crimes. Under a federal law known as the Clery Act, DPS then sends an alert to the community, officially known as a Timely Warning, when a judgment is made based on the information available that the report could involve a continuing threat to the community."

Within a few moments of arriving at Stanford University Monday, ABC7 News spotted several security guards patrolling campus. More security is part of the enhanced safety measures implemented by Stanford, following Friday's reported on-campus rape.

"There's not really a safe place," Stanford junior, Nadia Ertz said. "And no amount of, you know, training or intelligence can really stop that in its entirety."

Students received an alert about the incident.

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"Said it was someone in their office," sophomore, Ryder Matheny recalled. "To see something like that in a building, during the day, is just scary. Like, kind of out of the norm of what you would, sad to say, expect."

However, specific details about where the alleged attack occurred and a potential suspect are limited.

A report published by Stanford on Oct. 8 detailed, "There are a variety of reasons why a victim may not disclose information about a crime. Many victims need time to process what occurred; for some, the trauma of a crime impacts their ability to recall information. Currently, the victim who reported being assaulted yesterday has chosen not to share information about the crime with the police at this time. This also remains the case for the August report, which remains under investigation."

In an update out on Monday, the university said it is now looking at whether additional enhancements are needed with infrastructure or security protocols moving forward.

The report by university officials explained they continually work to find areas needing improvement, including the expansion of security cameras, outdoor lighting, keycard access and its blue emergency tower system.

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"I don't know if hardening the campus security is necessarily the move," sophomore Lily Foreman told ABC7 News. "Because, I think we know increasing security and police presence will disproportionally affect students of color and other marginalized students."

However, all agree, action must be taken.

In August, a woman reported she was grabbed by a man in a parking lot near Wilbur hall, taken to a bathroom and raped.

Two reported attacks in two months, now forcing some students to change their own behavior.

"I never felt unsafe here last year," Foreman shared. "But I've definitely been a lot more careful walking around at night, which I think is just really sad and unfortunate."

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