‘And so obviously that was scary’: SDSU students receive email about a sexual offense with ongoing threat

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – South Dakota State University police are looking for a man who broke into a dorm room and committed a sex crime on campus. And, until there’s an arrest, authorities say it could happen again.

An email to students says a man got into a locked dorm room in Caldwell Hall early yesterday morning. Inside that room, two women were sleeping. One of them woke up to the man touching her. She turned on a light and he ran off.

Students received that email late Thursday night.

“And so obviously that was scary, so we immediately locked the door because that’s really scary. But we were actually going to another person’s dorm so it was kind of scary walking out at night,” freshman Kelsey Sagehorn said.

“I mean, it kind of shocked me, I didn’t really expect anyone to try and do that, especially here on campus at like four in the morning,” freshman Jakob Fairbotham said.

Michaela Willis, the vice president for student affairs at SDSU, says sending that email out was a way to keep everyone safe.

“Part of the timely warning is to notify them when we have a situation and give them as much information as we can so that they can help us to resolve this and keep that campus safety at a high level and high priority,” Willis said.

She says if students have information about this crime, or have experienced anything similar, they should tell someone.

“Of course, they can go to the University Police Department, if they have any concerns, we really want to encourage them to report it,” Willis said. “We also have a great residence hall staff and student services staff around campus that can help them with any concerns that they have and really connect them with the resources that they might need.”

The top priority for students is safety.

“I always walk with friends and if I do walk somewhere by myself, I always tend to tell someone where I’m going like my roommate or just my friends in general,” Fairbotham said.

“Buddy system,” freshman Jordan Bergeman said.

“Definitely buddy system,” Sagehorn said.

“100 percent,” Bergeman said.

Officers are looking for a white man, who is about five foot eight with a stocky build and blonde hair.
He was wearing a dark ball cap, gray sweatshirt and blue jeans.

You can read the full email sent to students below.

Page 1 of SDSU warning
Page 1 of SDSU warning
Contributed to DocumentCloud by Karen Sherman (KELO-TV) • View document or read text

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