Boston Area Student Reportedly Sexually Assaulted on Campus

A university student reported she was sexually assaulted on the MIT campus in the early morning of Sept. 16.

In an e-mail sent to the MIT community, President Susan Hockfield said that “a Boston university student reported that she was sexually assaulted” after leaving a party at Senior House early Sunday morning. The student was reportedly attacked by a group of “5 or 6 neatly dressed white males in their early 20’s” near Amherst Street and Kendall Square around 3:45 a.m. Sunday morning, according an MIT Police bulletin.

“We do not currently have any indication that any MIT students were involved in the attack,” Hockfield said in the e-mail. “I am appalled and saddened at the thought that such an event could occur on or near our campus. MIT will continue to do everything that we can to help bring the police investigation and any resulting process to a timely and just conclusion.”

Cambridge Police declined to comment, saying that the MIT Police are handling the case. MIT Chief of Police John DiFava said he could not comment because Massachusetts law makes it illegal for him to divulge information on sexual assault cases due to the sensitive nature of privacy issues.

Lieutenant Albert F. Pierce, Jr. of the MIT Police, who is in charge of the case, did not return calls for comment.

According to an informational sheet provided by Maryanne Kirkbride of MIT Medical, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded MIT Medical $200,000 in 2005 to fund activities related to sexual assault issues.

The grant has allowed greater distribution of informational brochures, more sexual assault training sessions, and the formation of the Community Response Group that discusses sexual violence issues, Kirkbride said. There are many sexual assault resources available whose main goal is to “create a place where people can feel safe enough to come tell us when bad things happen,” she said.