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Alleged harasser caught

Claire Heininger | Monday, February 21, 2005

Notre Dame Security Police intends to file criminal charges against a man who allegedly sexually harassed a female staffer and a female student in separate on-campus incidents last week, NDSP director Rex Rakow said Sunday. The man, a South Bend resident who is not affiliated with the University, was riding his bike near the Rolfs Sports Recreation Center at approximately 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when he approached the staffer from behind and grabbed her buttocks, Rakow said. Rakow declined to release names of those involved.The staffer, who is in her mid-twenties, called NDSP when she returned to her office, but the alleged suspect escaped, Rakow said. The man repeated his actions the next day, allegedly harassing an off-campus female senior at approximately 11:15 a.m. near the Eck Tennis Pavilion, Rakow said. After the student called NDSP from her cell phone, nearby officers were able to apprehend the man and bring him in for questioning, when he admitted to both incidents, Rakow said. The man was not arrested, Rakow said, because the alleged crime was not a felony and NDSP did not witness either incident. NDSP did issue a trespass warning against the man, which means he will be arrested immediately if he attempts to come on campus again, Rakow said.The alleged suspect did not know either the staffer or the student, Rakow said, calling the man’s actions a “crime of opportunity.”Both alleged victims are fully cooperating with NDSP’s investigation, Rakow said, but he was unsure if they would participate in filing charges. NDSP expects to file within the week, Rakow said. The man is described as approximately 30 years old but could appear to be student age, Rakow said. He is of normal build, weighing approximately 165-170 lbs., wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and white jacket and riding a blue women’s mountain bike, Rakow said.Rakow encouraged anyone with information about the suspect or who may have had a similar experience to contact NDSP.