UNC students seek answers after three sex assaults reported at Granville Towers

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Students living in a UNC-Chapel Hill off-campus residence hall where three sexual assaults were reported to have happened between August and October want to know why they weren't notified of the alleged crimes sooner.

UNC issued a Crime Alert Friday night after campus police received its third report of a sex assault at Granville Towers East, just off of Franklin Street, from September.

"Because we now have three reported assaults, which occurred between August and October, involving the same accused person that seems to indicate a pattern of behavior, we are alerting the community in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act," the alert read.

The alert went on to assure students and staff that there was no immediate threat and actions had been taken to protect the campus community.

"I didn't understand that part," said Addison Pulliam, a Granville Towers resident who first spotted on UNC's Police's crime log in October that a sex assault had been reported that month at the residence hall. "We just weren't told about it and I was concerned about--why aren't we told and who is it?"

A spokesperson for UNC Police did not release any additional information on the accused perpetrator Monday, citing federal student privacy law and the ongoing investigation.

"It is important to note-it does not mean that the university had not acted prior tothe campus-wide communication," said Kate Maroney, a UNC spokesperson.

While UNC is required by the Clery Act, a federal law compelling universities to give timely warnings of crimes that pose a serious or continuing threat, guidance on issuing alerts for any Clery Act crime lays out exceptions.

Exceptions include situations where issuing an alert would compromise the investigation, relationships between victims and perpetrators, whether an arrest has been made, or the amount of time passed since the crime was committed.

Still, students who live at Granville Towers want an explanation from the university as to why an alert couldn't have been issued in October when, according to the police report, a sex assault kit was collected from the victim as evidence.

"I would think that one time would be more than enough to send out an alert," said Catelyn Meyer. "Especially when it's someone who is a repeat offender, there should be no reason to allow a pattern of behavior to happen."
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