Facts still scant in assault case

by Jessica Spradling | 11/12/02 6:00am

Hanover Police say they are no closer to apprehending the male who assaulted a Dartmouth female Saturday morning at The Tabard coed fraternity than they were over the weekend. As of Monday morning, there were still no suspects, and information about the assailant remained spotty.

Despite Dean of the College James Larimore's statement that he does not believe the assailant to be a Dartmouth student, Detective Francis Moran of the Hanover Police Department could not rule out that possibility.

"Obviously what we are up against is someone who could possibly be a student," Moran said.

When asked if the assailant were still a threat to other Dartmouth students, Moran said, "To be honest, we don't know. We don't want to cause undue alarm or an undue sense of security." The attacker was apparently unarmed.

Hanover Police amended their initial press release today to say that the sexual assault in The Tabard basement actually occurred between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, instead of 4 a.m. as previously reported. They also narrowed the age range of the attacker from "college-aged" to "between 22 and 23."

Police are unsure whether or not the original description of the attacker as wearing a shirt with yellow markings is accurate. Contrary to a previous statement from Safety and Security, a composite sketch of the assailant will not be released.

According to Moran, more information than usual was released for this case in order to gather leads from possible witnesses. Other people were in the basement, though not in the same room, at the time of the attack. The focus of the investigation, Moran said, has been finding those people and trying to gain a more detailed description of the assailant.

Moran could not say how long the attacker had been at The Tabard on Friday, but he did say that the assailant was intoxicated at the time. Hanover Police would be questioning other Dartmouth students who had been at houses on Webster Avenue, Moran said, to see if they had seen an intoxicated man matching the description given by the victim.

Moran said that the police had received few tips from Dartmouth students responding to the email that Detective Eric Bates sent yesterday to Greek house presidents.

The rest of the investigation will be led by Moran and Bates. Moran said the investigation was far from closed -- "there is a lot more that needs to be done."

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