by Jennifer Katz
More than a week after an alleged rape took place at Chestnut Hill College police say the investigation is at a stand still. A young, female co-ed who lives on campus in the dormitories told campus security and police that a male she knows attacked her in her dorm room between 2 and 3 a.m. on Dec. 4.
Campus security transported the young woman to a hospital outside of the city where she was examined by medical staff. Capt. John Darby of Philadelphia’s Special Victim’s Unity said the police were called to the hospital (he would not disclose which hospital) at approximately 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 where the student reported being sexually assaulted by an acquaintance she knew prior to the attack.
“This is not a public safety concern,” Darby said.
Darby declined to say if the two parties were friends or dating at the time of the attack.
College spokeswoman Kathleen Spigelmyer said the college was not aware of the suspect’s identity and could not determine if the suspect is a student or has any affiliation with the college. Darby said that he did know who the suspect is but could not confirm that it is someone who also attends the college. He said the suspect does not live in the dorms.
The college and the police said the investigation is currently frustrated by the victim’s reluctance to cooperate. According to Darby, after the attack she left the area with her family and has not returned.
Darby said while it is not unusual for a victim to take some time after initially reporting an assault to sit down with investigators, his unit could not proceed without a formal interview.
“This is something we deal with everyday,” he said of the victim’s decision to leave the area, adding that the behavior was normal and not a concern.
For now, police will wait to see if the physical exam produces evidence and wait for the victim to proceed.
“We go at [the victim’s] pace,” he said.