Authorities investigating alleged rape on USD campus

By Travis Gulbrandson

The city police are investigating an alleged rape that took place more than a week ago at Coyote Village on the University of South Dakota campus.

The incident is alleged to have taken place between two students on Sunday, Oct. 6.

Police Chief Matt Betzen told the Plain Talk he was unable to give any details of the incident, except to say that it is currently under investigation.

According to a story in the USD campus newspaper, The Volante, university police responded to a call from Coyote Village between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Oct. 6.

In an interview with the Plain Talk, Jef Rice, assistant director of the University Police Department, said the city police were brought in “almost immediately.”

“They’re handling this particular (incident) because of exactly what it entails,” Rice said.

The city police have worked with the campus police in the past, as well, he said.

The campus Student Services Office has not issued a statement regarding the alleged incident.

However, five days after the incident was reported, university housing did send an e-mail to students living on campus that offered “12 tips on how to stay safe,” The Volante reported.

Rice told the Plain Talk that assaults on campus of any kind are “very uncommon.”

“I think last year we only had a couple,” he said. “I think there were maybe four assaults against students.”

Rice said campus police does what it can to ensure students are informed of safety-related issues and practices.

“We work with housing, student services and the dean’s office,” he said. “We go out during the year and put on safety presentations. We talk to the student groups, to the housing groups.

“Anyone that wants us to come up, we’re more than willing to come and give safety talks,” he said.

A call that was placed to USD’s media relations office was not returned as of press time.

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