Police: Man fondled female Rutgers student in her dorm

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Rutgers University police say that a college-aged man came into a female student’s dorm room and fondled her chest and groin.

The victim told police that the man came into her Mettler Hall dorm room in New Brunswick, and began to kiss her and touch her over her clothing. Police say that the victim told the man to leave and he did. She was not physically injured.

Police did not provide many details about the suspect. He is described as white and thin with blond hair.

This latest crime comes as the topic of preventing sexual assault and harassment is being discussed on college campuses.  Former Vice President Joe Biden visited Rutgers last week to discuss the topic and brainstorm ways to combat college sexual assault.

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Students tell News 12 New Jersey that incidents on campus are more prevalent than many people think. Rutgers police say they have recorded an average of 25 rape cases and 10 fondling cases in residence halls each year between 2013 and 2016. This is just on Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus.

Vice Chancellor Dr. Felicia McGinty says that the university is committed to student safety. She says that Rutgers has emerged as a national leader in sexual violence education. The school piloted a climate survey for the White House task force on sexual assault in 2014.

“As we created a space for the conversation, students have responded,” she says. “They want to talk about the issue. They want to challenge one another and they want to change culture.”

Students say that they have been inspired by this week’s social media movement where women who have experience sexual harassment or assault posted “Me too.”

“Women are stepping out and feeling more comfortable about it and that's where you start the conversation and that's where change really happens,” says junior Lilah Schrading.

“There's also room for men in the conversation to talk about sexual assault…or at least sexual coercion, which is just a facet of sexual assault,” says student Hanny Ramadan.

The students say that they want authorities to hold the suspect in this latest crime accountable for his actions.

Anyone who may have any information about the latest assault is asked to contact Rutgers police at 848-932-8025.

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