Indiana Borough police investigate possible rape during pre-St. Patrick's celebration

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Indiana Borough police are investigating the alleged rape of an Indiana University of Pennsylvania student that occurred during last weekend’s rowdy pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Chief William Sutton said borough police have developed suspects but haven’t charged anyone in connection with the sexual assault, which happened “during that period” but did not occur on campus.

Between 3 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Sunday, borough police saw a 200 percent increase in the daily average calls for service, the chief said in an email. Officers made more than 50 arrests or citations in that period, some alcohol-related, though it’s not yet clear how many were IUP students.

The activities this year attracted larger crowds due to a perfect storm of sorts: Plans were “labeled and orchestrated,” Chief Sutton wrote in the email, and warm weather was “favorable to those participating.”

“So yes, it was more of a problem, but we were better prepared since last year’s events were not broadcast,” he wrote.

Some of the events were captured on video and posted online. Chief Sutton said police are reviewing the footage.

Borough police expect to release more information later this week.

University police referred media inquiries to IUP spokeswoman Michelle Fryling, who said campus police are processing about 60 arrests.

“We have received arrest reports, and we are weeding through them” she said.

The university’s Office of Student Conduct had no reports of sexual assaults in connection with the weekend events, she said.

She said on Sunday that the university was awaiting official police reports so that it could start university judicial proceedings against any students who were arrested or cited.

Molly Born: or 412-263-1944. First Published March 13, 2014 12:12 PM


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