[image-1]The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is currently investigating an alleged sexual assault that occurred on the College of Charleston campus around 2 a.m. Friday morning.

According to SLED spokesman Thom Berry, SLED was notified early this morning by College of Charleston officials of what was reported to be a criminal sexual assault at the school. SLED agents were sent from the agency’s regional office, and the investigation is underway along with local authorities. Berry stated that SLED works to assist school authorities in investigations of criminal sexual assault cases as the campus police will be the lead agency.

A notification released by the College of Charleston’s Public Safety Department states that the alleged assault occurred at the residence hall on St. Philip Street, north of Calhoun Street. The suspect remains at large, according to the statement, and is described as a white male, 18-20 years of age, around 5-foot-9, with a medium build and medium-length brown hair.

According to the campus notification, the “female survivor was in her room at residence hall when she heard a knock on the door. She opened the door and the suspect forced his way inside and sexually assaulted her. Suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction.”

A campus-wide email from the school’s Chief of Public Safety Robert Reese states that SLED is leading this investigation in cooperation with the College of Charleston’s Department of Public Safety and the Charleston Police Department and is “aggressively working to identify and apprehend a suspect.”

Anyone with information regarding the alleged incident is asked to contact either SLED’s Lowcountry regional office at (843) 782-3822 or the CofC’s Department of Public Safety at (843) 953-5611.

“In the meantime, the College has increased its on-campus security presence in and around residence halls,” concludes Reese’s message. “As always, our Public Safety officers are available to provide escorts on campus, and the Cougar Shuttle (888-960-2227) is available for off-campus transportation on the downtown peninsula seven nights a week from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the fall and spring semesters.”

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