Sexual assault reported near GVSU campus; 4th assault this fall

Posted at 1:03 PM, Sep 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 19:55:18-04

ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office says that a 19-year-old woman has reported being sexually assaulted near Grand Valley State University's campus.

The assault reportedly took place about 10:00pm Tuesday night near the Trio Townhouses in the 10000 block of 48th Avenue.  This is the fourth reported sexual assault near the campus this fall.

Investigators say that the woman reported being forced into some bushes near the complex.  The only description of the suspect is that he was white.  Captain Mark Bennett says that this assault is in the same general area of past assaults and it could be related.

GVSU issued a statement following the reported sexual assault:

"Let us be clear, the perpetrator is the only person responsible for a sexual assault. Although it is never the fault of the victim, due to the nature of these reports, we encourage all Grand Valley students to be aware of their surroundings and take extra safety precautions. This may look different to different people and peer groups. It may mean checking in with friends more frequently, participating in ride shares, walking in groups to and from activities, or having a roommate plan about locking doors and windows. We also encourage you to be an active bystander. If you see something, say something. If you know anything about the current reported incidents, please call the Grand Valley Police Department at (616) 331-3255 or the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office at (800) 249-0911."

Other sexual assaults to have been reported this semester also occurred off campus. One last week at 48 West Apartments, involving 2 male attackers; one in the parking lot of Campus View Apartments involving a male suspect August 28; and another one along 48th Avenue close to the Burger King on Lake Michigan Drive August 26.