4-year-old girl

by Benjamin Ganje

A 4-year-old girl was raped by two juveniles in a Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative laundry room Aug. 13, University Police said.
The two male assailants are between the ages of 10 and 17 and reside in the same housing complex near the St. Paul campus, police said. No arrests have been made.
Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative is a University-operated housing unit located at 1250 Fifield Ave.
A crime alert has been distributed to the community by University Police. No more victims had come forward as of Friday, said University Police Sgt. Jo Anne Benson.
“It is a tight community, and most people know each other,” she said.
Other residents are confident that housing managers and the University Police will handle the situation properly, said Tammy Semple, who lives at the cooperative with her family and coordinates volunteer activities.
Semple has two daughters, ages one and five. She said Commonwealth’s day care services are very good.
“It is a horrible thing that has happened,” Semple said. “But let’s face it, it wouldn’t happen if we watch our kids.”
University Police investigators make minimal information available to the public in sexual assault cases, especially those involving minors. Benson said the victims often fear retaliation.
University law enforcement officials have urged other sexual assault victims to report the crimes to police. Reporting is necessary to keep the attackers accountable for their actions and ensure public safety, Benson said.
Police have made plans to meet with cooperative residents to discuss safety issues and other concerns, Semple said.

Benjamin Ganje covers cops and welcomes comments at [email protected].