By Chelsea Phua
Campus police from California State University, Sacramento, said Friday they are investigating the kidnapping and sexual assault of a female student.
Police said the student was assaulted in the Residence Hall parking lot about 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
The student had got out of her vehicle and was walking toward the residence halls when she was approached by three men in a van. One of the men pulled her into the van. She was taken to the south side of the parking lot, where she was sexually assaulted.
Police said the victim was later treated and released from an area medical center.
She described the van as a dark-colored minivan, possibly red, with a driver's side sliding door. She described the man who pulled her into the van as Latino, about 19 to 20 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, slender build, with a buzz haircut and brown eyes. The police do not have a description of the driver or the other man.
Campus spokesman Detective Scott Christian said it's not clear if the suspects have any affiliations to the university.
This is the third reported sexual assault attack on campus in the past two months. On Sept. 13, an assailant touched a female student "on an intimate part of her body" while she was studying near Capistrano Hall.
Earlier this week, a female student reported being raped by an acquaintance in the American River Courtyard residence hall.
University spokeswoman Kim Nava said Friday that prosecutors have decided to drop charges against Jonathan Lee, 18, who was arrested on suspicion of rape.
"We are seeing these as unrelated incidents," said Lori Varlotta, the university's vice president for student affairs. University officials have not received reports from students being anxious because of the recent sexual assault incidents, Varlotta said.
"Sacramento State has a very comprehensive approach to dealing with sex assault," Varlotta said, outlining the various workshops and training provided to students and student leaders in avoiding and dealing with sexual assault cases.
She said the university is one of the few in the California State University system that has a certified rape counselor available round the clock.
In response to the latest incident, officials said they have increased uniformed patrols on campus, particularly the Residence Hall area.
Christian declined to divulge specifics of the security increase, saying that they could compromise police operations.
Officials are also encouraging students to use the Hornet Night Shuttle, which will escort students to and from their vehicles.
The numbers to call from dusk to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday are (916) 278-7260 on a cell phone or 8-7260 from any on-campus phone. The numbers to call after hours are (916) 278-6851 or 8-6851.
Students are also encouraged to walk to and from classes in pairs or small groups, especially when it's dark, and to immediately report any suspicious people, vehicles, or activity to the campus police at (916) 278-6851.
More than 80 emergency phones are also accessible to students throughout campus, officials said. Students are immediately connected to a dispatcher when they pick up the emergency phones.
Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.