Classic Signals: Police respond to sexual assault

By Emmy Liederman
Features Editor 

A September 1980 issue of The Signal documents the sexual assault of a female freshman. The student came back from a party under the influence and “awoke in the woods with her pants and panties removed. She was bruised and was bleeding from the vaginal area.”

Rape culture remains a hot-button issue on college campuses. (Photo courtesy of the TCNJ Digital Archive)

Since 1980, there has been a heightened awareness of rape culture through campaigns like the #MeToo movement. In addition, Christine Blasey Ford’s has accused Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party in 1982. Although Ford has been praised by many for her bravery, she has also been accused of waiting too long to come forward, which Kavanaugh supporters believe makes her story lack credibility. Support for sexual assault survivors has become a major on-campus initiative, and events like the Slut Walk highlight students’ willingness to believe and support survivors.

A suspect has been questioned in the sexual assault of a Trenton State College freshman, which occurred in a wooded area behind the Travers/Wolfe residence halls early last Friday morning, according to campus police.

Sgt. R. Thomas Hagaman, community relations officer for campus police, said police received a call from the student’s roommate reporting the assault at approximately 4:40 a.m. Friday morning.

Hagaman said the student was attending a party in Travers residence hall and left between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. due to sickness.

Another student followed her, and the last thing the victim remembered was being in the parking lot behind Travers/ Wolfe, according to Hagaman.

THE STUDENT TOLD police she awoke in the woods with her pants and panties removed. She was bruised and was bleeding from the vaginal area, according to Hagaman.

The sexual assault occurred two days after a noted expert on the subject conducted a two-day workshop on rape awareness and prevention on campus.

Hagaman said that a suspect had been identified and questioned and that Ewing Township and campus police were continuing an investigation.

The suspect is a male Trenton State student who had been living in a residence hall without authorization. If the victim files charges, the suspect would be arrested this week, Hagaman said. Since charges have not been filed, it is not known whether the suspect has been prohibited from attending classes. Jere Paddack, dean of students, refused to comment on the suspect’s status as a student.

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