2010 Reported Stranger Assault at George Fox University
Update on 2010 Sexual Assault Report
(March 1, 2011) Newberg–Dundee Police have informed George Fox University that they have closed as unfounded the case of a reported on-campus sexual assault on April 13, 2010, and are considering criminal charges against the former George Fox student for filing a false police report.
Newberg-Dundee Police Chief Brian Casey informed George Fox President Robin Baker by e-mail on Feb. 24. Casey wrote, “Her statements are viewed as deceptive and likely untrue … the case has been closed as unfounded based on the totality of information which includes a lack of evidence, suspect information and unsubstantiated statements by (name withheld by George Fox). If the Newberg-Dundee Police Department had reliable information that in fact there was a suspect or person of interest in this case, we would not close the investigation. Newberg-Dundee Police Detectives and FBI Agents have put an enormous amount of time and resources into this investigation, and they are completely confident with this decision.“
“The safety of our students is our first priority,” said Brad Lau, vice president of student life. “The university responded appropriately to this report, and we will continue to take seriously any report of sexual assault or threatening behavior. We want to make sure this is a safe and supportive environment for all of our students.”
Police representatives said they asked the FBI to review the evidence, but the FBI review was delayed due to the amount of resources being put into the Kyron Horman missing child investigation.
The female George Fox student who reported the incident withdrew from the university and has not communicated with university officials in recent months.
Newberg-Dundee Police News Release (released Feb. 28, 2011)
Sexual Assault Reported on George Fox campus
Clarification: Several media outlets have mistakenly reported the date of the April 13 sexual assault, leading some to believe that more than one sexual assault was reported. This is not the case. Only one sexual assault has been reported.
(April 14, 2010) Newberg, Ore. – The Newberg Police Department and George Fox University are investigating a sexual assault at a campus apartment on April 13, 2010 around 8 p.m.
George Fox Vice President of Student Life Brad Lau expressed deep concern for the student, her family and friends. “The most important thing to us right now is caring for this student and making sure we are doing everything possible to keep her and our community safe,” Lau said.
The university is withholding the student’s name to protect her privacy and is cooperating fully with Newberg Police. The student’s roommate called security at 9:30 p.m. A George Fox security officer and a student life employee responded to her on-campus apartment on the southwest side of campus and, within minutes, called the Newberg Police Department.
The student reported that an unarmed male wearing a dark ski mask and gloves knocked on her door. The student was expecting a friend and opened the door. The man pushed his way in when she opened the door and sexually assaulted her.
Her two roommates were gone during the incident and upon their return contacted security.
Police responded quickly and began their investigation. Incident details are limited because of concern about student privacy and because of an ongoing police investigation. Newberg Police have told George Fox officials that this is a high-priority case and urged the university to assist with their investigation by not revealing additional details. Students are encouraged to share this Web site and related information with their parents.
President Robin Baker and senior student life staff came to campus that night as soon as they were informed and met with residence life staff and students. The president remained on campus with senior leaders late into the night. An e-mail alert went out to students and staff at 3:15 a.m.
Newberg Police and George Fox security staff increased patrols in the area. George Fox has 24-hour security staff on duty. Each living area has a student life staff member assigned to it. All residence halls have card-access locks and apartment outside doors are self locking. Some portions of campus also have video surveillance. Students and employees are encouraged to maintain the security of their buildings by not propping doors open and by being vigilant about their safety.
“This is a shock to our community,” Lau said. “We’re taking this very seriously. Even though we believe Newberg and our campus are safe, we encourage students and employees to take extra precautions and to report suspicious persons to campus security.”
“At this early point in the investigation, we think it is unlikely the victim knew the suspect. It is possible the suspect has targeted the victim from a distance without her knowledge.
We are working closely with the campus safety team and the Student Life office to ensure the students are safe. This event is very disturbing, but we are confident the campus community as well as the surrounding residents not associated with the university are not in danger or at risk to become victims in this case.
This is a good time for all of us to review some of the basics in personal safety. For example, if planning to be out alone and walking through a dark or poorly lighted area, carry a flashlight along with a mobile phone in hand. If walking alone between university buildings, across campus or away from campus, always tell someone about the travel plans. Make sure a report is made if a friend is overdue."
On Monday, April 19 at 3:40 p.m. in Hoover 105, Brad Lau, vice president for student life, and a representative from the Newberg Police Department held an open forum for students and employees who had questions and explained the steps that have been taken since the April 13 incident.
KGW-TV April 22
Newberg Police have released a description of the suspect. He is described as thin and taller than six feet.
Students can call the Health and Counseling Center at 503-554-2340 to schedule an individual counseling appointment. An open group processing session took place at the Health and Counseling Center on Wednesday, April 14. Contact the Health and Counseling Center if you have any questions.
The campus pastoral team will be available to talk and pray with students at the spiritual life house at 503-554-2320.
George Fox encourages students and employees to review these guidelines for personal safety online.
Self Defense Workshop
George Fox annually offers a nine-hour self-defense workshop for interested students in the fall. On Friday evening (April 23), the university is offering a two-hour self-defense workshop. If interested, contact the Student Life Office at 503-554-2311.
Campus Escort Service
Security staffing is being increased and students and staff who feel uncomfortable walking across campus are encouraged to call for a campus escort at 503-554-2090.
Sexual Assault and Harassment Policies
Information About Incident
Anyone with information relating to the incident should contact the Newberg Police Department at 503-538-8321.
The university will post more information as it becomes available.