Police report no string of rapes

By Paul Wagner

Police said rumors of rapes on Greek Row have not been confirmed, but patrols have been increased anyway.

DeKalb Police Sgt. Charles Kross said the DeKalb Police Department has received several calls from concerned parents and students about “rumors of 10 to 12 rapes over the past two to three weeks. None of the rumors has been substantiated.

“Based upon rumors, we have beefed up patrols in that (Greek Row) area,” Kross said.

Kross said police have no indication of a string of rapes. “From our standpoint, there have been three (rapes) since the first of October. One in the Greek Row area.”

One reported rape occurred in the victim’s apartment on Oct. 3, Kross said. A second occurred Oct. 13 and involved a man wearing a ski mask, he said. The third occurred on Oct. 25 and involved an man armed with a hand gun, he said. The third incident occurred in the Greek Row area, he said.

“It is our (police) opinion that they (reported rapes) are not connected,” Kross said.

Police have not identified suspects in the rapes. “We (police) are working on a couple of leads, but I would not classify them as suspects,” Kross said.

Kross said professional agencies such as hopitals and the rape crisis line run by Ben Gordon Community Mental Health Center, 12 Health Services Drive, have not received a higher number of calls regarding rape.

“None of the professionals (dealing with sexual assault) have received an unusual number of calls,” Kross said.

Kris Povlsen, representative of sexual assault and abuse services, a service of the Ben Gordon center, said the rape crisis line has not received an increase in calls concerning assaults near NIU over the past two to three weeks.

Povlsen said no increase in calls means the number of assaults has not increased or people are not using the service.

Signs regarding sexual assault have been posted in sororities and the residence halls. A flier distributed in Gilbert Hall stated there have been “numerous reports of rape.” The flier also stated, “The perpetrator has been wearing a ski mask.”

Kross said information contained in the flier is inaccurate. He said it is important for people to know only one incident involved a man wearing a ski mask.

Jon Dalton, vice president for student affairs, said university officials have no knowledge of the flier. NIU has made no official notice regarding the three reported assaults or the rumors, he said.

Kross said persons with any information regarding the rumored assaults should call the police. He said police would “make sure” callers’ identities remain anonymous, although callers do not have to reveal their names.

People have expressed concerns that their names or addresses would appear in the paper and the attacker would return, Kross said. Victims’ names and addresses are not made public, he said.

eported assaults and the rumors refer to “stranger rape,” not “acquaintance rape,” Kross said. “Legally there is no difference (between the two types of rape). Our investigation is no different.”

Kross said victims view acquaintance rape differently. “Victims of acquaintance rape have a higher percentage of guilt. We encourage these (acquaintance rape) reports, but we seldom get them.”

istorically, most stranger rapes are reported to police, Kross said. Records of rape crisis lines revealed that more than 50 percent of stranger rapes reported to crisis lines also are reported to police, he said.

Very few acquaintance rapes reported to crisis lines also are reported to police, Kross said.

NIU’s Sexual Assault Task Force is expected to discuss rumors today at 3:00 p.m. SATF Chairman Marti Ruel said representatives from the DeKalb and University Police departments are expected to attend the meeting.