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RC University Center Reacts To Alleged Assault

October 30, 2012, 6:00 PM by Derek Olson

RC University Center Reacts To Alleged Assault
RAPID CITY, SD -

A female student at the University Center was allegedly assaulted in the campus parking lot last Wednesday.  Fortunately, an unknown person came to her aid and she escaped without injury.

And because the University Center caters to non-traditional students, it hosts a lot of evening and night classes.

"I have classes that end at 10 and I know a lot of people do," University Center student Jessie Teslow said.

Last Wednesday, a female student was attacked by man in the southern end of the Center's parking lot.

"She was accosted from the back, behind her, so she wasn't able to see the attacker or the individual who assisted her to get free," University Center Dean Craig Johnson said.

In light of the attack, Johnson says the University Center is reviewing its security procedures.  Officials will also be offering students who are in class late access to parking lot escorts.

Officials at the UC learned of the attack from police on Thursday afternoon.  But an email alert to students wasn't sent until Monday afternoon.

"I think it should be an immediate thing, honestly, because that's really scary," Teslow said.

"The sooner the better is absolutely the best policy. In this case, we wanted to make sure we had all of our information in line and followed policy and procedure," Johnson said.

Johnson says that the notification policy is a process that involves the University Center, Black Hills State University, which oversees the UC's operations and the attacked student's home university.  It's a process that the dean is working to streamline.

"We want to learn from this and be more proactive in the future so we can insure that these type of incidents are either minimized or don't happen at all," Johnson said.

Johnson says this is the first incident of this kind at the University Center since opening in April 20-11.  Police are investigating. No arrests have been made, but there are a few possible suspects.

If you have any information you're asked to call Rapid City police at 394-4133.

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