MURRAY — The Murray State University Police Department is investigating a sexual assault that was reported on campus over the weekend.

Murray State Police sent out a notice of the reported assault in compliance with the “Timely Warning” provisions of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998. The notice said a student on Monday reported being sexually assaulted outside an academic building on the campus by a person the victim met on a social media app. The sexual assault was reported to have occurred in the late hours of Sunday, Sept. 8, police said. The notice said Murray State Police are conducting an investigation and that university officials and community partners are providing recovery resources to the reporting student.

Shawn Touney, Murray State’s executive director of marketing and communication, provided an update on Tuesday to the original notice that was sent out Monday. 

“As an update to this from (Monday) afternoon, the Murray State Police has identified a suspect, a non-student, who has since been banned from campus,” Touney said. “The MSU PD is working with the Commonwealth’s Attorney on the appropriate enforcement action related to the case.”

The timely warning notice also included the following safety information for students:

• 72% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.

• Alcohol is the weapon most often used by rapists.

• Communicate with potential intimate partners about expectations and boundaries, and continue those conversations throughout the relationship.

• Understand what consent means and do not initiate sexual contact without it.

• Insist on public first dates, especially with someone you only know through social media. 

• Create a safety plan that includes code words or allowing friends to follow your location on LiveSafe.

• If you feel uneasy in a situation, trust your instincts and try to interrupt the chain of events.

• Don’t be afraid to make a scene. Yell, scream, and/or run for protection if you can.

• Call the police. A crime has been committed. The police will provide recovery resources regardless of whether or not the reporting party chooses to seek criminal charges at this time or a later date.

• Always remember, the only person responsible for sexual assault is the perpetrator. 

If you believe you see someone being targeted for sexual assault, be an active bystander and help protect. Get other people involved to help the person in trouble and to gather strength in numbers. Report what you have observed. Murray State University offers many resources available to you related to medical care, law enforcement, and counseling. Report suspicious activity on our campus to the Murray State Police Department at (270) 809-2222 or by using the LiveSafe app. 

A list of available resources, both on and off-campus was provided to students as well.  

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