Student sexually assaulted in Como

The incident took place early Sunday morning.

Bryna Godar

A 19-year-old University of Minnesota student was sexually assaulted early Sunday morning near Van Cleve Park, according to a Minneapolis police report.

The incident took place between 2:40 and 3:10 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of 15th and Brook avenues southeast, according to the report. University police sent out an email alert to University students, faculty and staff on Monday afternoon.

The victim was walking home alone after a party when three men approached her, according to the alert. One hit the victim and sexually assaulted her while the other two acted as lookouts, the alert said. She was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center for a sexual assault exam, according to the report.

Police were dispatched shortly after 3 a.m. to the victim’s home, which is near where the incident occurred, Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer said.

The alleged incident occurred near a main road in the Southeast Como neighborhood, although the email alert said it was in Marcy-Holmes. The crime alert’s map also indicated the alleged assault happened a block away from where the alert said it happened. University police Chief Greg Hestness confirmed the location from the text in the alert and said he hadn’t seen the map.

Hestness said University police have been adding patrols in response to a recent spike of robberies around campus, and he didn’t think the recent robberies were related to the sexual assault.

This incident will be difficult to investigate, Hestness said, because police don’t have specific suspect descriptions. The alert describes the attacker as 30 to 38 years old.

The incident was reported to Minneapolis police. Hestness said a Minneapolis investigator will take the case and determine if there are any leads to follow.

“UMPD will do as much as we can, but it is not our primary jurisdiction,” he said.

The University police daily crime log lists 19 reported sexual assaults on or near campus since last October.

The University reported 17 forcible sexual offenses on or near campus in 2011 and 23 offenses in 2010, according to U.S. Department of Education data.

Palmer said no witnesses have yet come forward with any information on Sunday’s incident. University police are encouraging anyone with information on the case to call the Minneapolis Tip Line at 612-692-8477.