CofC student sexually assaulted at residence hall, Police release description of attacker

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Authorities have released a description of a man they say sexually assaulted a female College of Charleston student early Friday morning.

According to the department's website, the student was in her room at a residence hall on St. Philip Street, north of Calhoun Street at approximately 2 a.m. when she heard a knock on her door.

She opened the door and the man forced his way in and sexually assaulted her, the post states.

The man was described as a white male, 18 to 20 years of age, between 5'8" and 5'10" with a medium build and medium length brown hair.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division confirmed Friday it is investigating the reported sexual assault.

An email sent to the campus states the college has increased its on-campus security presence in and around residence halls.

Meanwhile, students say they were very surprised to hear what happened.

"I was scared," CofC student Mary Kate Bowers said. "My roommates and I leave our door open in the dorm when I was a freshman all the time so it's kind of freaky to think what could have happened then, too."

"I was very surprised it happened in the dorm I lived in last year, sent shivers up my spine," CofC student Ivy Chase said.

Charleston Police and CofC Public Safety officers are "aggressively working to identify and apprehend a suspect," the email states.

Crime statistics furnished by CofC indicate a total of nine cases of forcible rape were reported in residence halls in 2014. Six were reported in 2015 and nine were reported in 2016. Of those 24 cases, only eight of the victims filed official police reports. The remainder of victims disclosed the incidents to a campus security officer or sought assistance from the Office of Victim Services, the report states.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the CofC Campus Police at 843-953-5611, Charleston Police at 843-742-7200 or SLED at 803-896-7133.

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