Seven sexual offense reports in last two weeks


There have been seven combined sexual offenses reported to the Pullman Police Department and WSUPD over the last two weeks.

Two more reports of sexual assault from last weekend were reported to Pullman Police on Monday.

An 18-year-old female reported that she was too drunk to give consent to any sexual acts on the morning of Oct. 3.

Cmdr. Chris Tennant of the Pullman Police Department said the victim is unsure if she wants to pursue legal action against the accused party.

Tennant said police will wait until further notice from the victim before they start an investigation.

Monday, the mother of an 18-year-old female called the Pullman Police Department saying that her daughter was sexually assaulted while visiting Pullman from out of town.

The mother said her daughter is willing to pursue legal action, however police have not been able to contact the alleged victim.

Tennant said police are waiting to talk to the victim before starting an investigation.

Dean of Students Melynda Huskey did not want to speculate on why the area has seen an increase of sexual crimes.

“It’s too early to call it, whether it’s a trend, or an unusual set of data points,”she said. “We want to take each individual case, and treat it as an individual circumstance.”

Huskey added that more reports of sexual violence may be a result of victims feeling empowered to call law enforcement when a crime occurs.

In late September, President Elson S. Floyd released a newsletter to WSU community members pledging to “re-double” efforts against sexual violence, more specifically dedicating more resources to prevention and response.

As for preventative measures, WSU implemented a workshop required for all incoming undergraduates called “Booze, Sex, and Reality Checks” in 2013.  For the first time this year, WSU is providing Green Dot training to help bystanders recognize potentially dangerous scenarios, and intervene.

Huskey said she anticipates more money, as well as staff time and energy will be dedicated to providing Green Dot strategies to students, because data has shown the program has reduced sexual violence in other communities.

Students can register for the Green Dot training sessions that will be provided throughout the rest of the semester on CougSync. These sessions are not, however, mandatory.

“Making things like this mandatory is a great way to convince people to pay no attention,” she said. “Our strategy is to engage students who care, and we expect that will move to the entire campus.”

Anyone experiencing sexual, gender based, or any kind of violence can contact the Alternatives to Violent of the Palouse, WSU Counseling and Testing Services, Pullman Police Department, WSUPD, the Office for Equal Opportunity, or Pullman Regional Hospital.

Reporting by Andrew Braddock