Three assault incidents reported via ‘timely warning’ emails in May

DanceTroupe leaders discourage future ‘Study Breaks’ in response to Theta Delta Chi incident

Last month, Sergeant Andrew Turco issued on behalf of the MIT Police three “timely warning” emails informing the community of assault incidents on campus.

The first timely warning was issued May 7 regarding a sexual assault that happened at a dorm on Amherst Alley May 5 between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. According to the email, the victim said that she had talked to the male perpetrator at a party at a dorm, and the next moment she remembered was waking up next to him in his dorm room. The perpetrator denied that any sexual activity had taken place.

Another timely warning was issued May 23 regarding an incident that occurred during a party at the Theta Delta Chi (TDC) fraternity in the early morning hours of May 19. The victim and perpetrator met during the party, and although the victim made clear that she did not consent, the perpetrator sexually assaulted the victim, the email said.

“This incident appears to have taken place during Study Break,” Daphne Lin ’19 and Claire Nobuhara ’19, DanceTroupe (DT) president and show coordinator, respectively, wrote in an email to DT members forwarded to The Tech.

DT hosted Study Break at TDC starting from 10 p.m. May 18.

Two days later, Lin and Nobuhara sent another email to DT members stating that they believed DT should longer hold Study Breaks because the event did not contribute to their goal of “creat[ing] a safe environment for students to learn how to dance.” The email continued, “While we do our best, Study Break is a party. It is difficult to keep 200+ members safe.”

Lin, Nobuhara, and Anthony Rosario ’19, TDC president and DT social chair, did not respond to requests for comment.

The initial timely warning said that the victim and perpetrator went “back to the perpetrator’s bedroom in the fraternity house,” but an online update published the following day revised the phrasing to say that the perpetrator led the victim “away from the party into another room.”

“The May 23rd timely warning was issued after an MIT employee who is required to report under the Clery Act informed the MIT Police of the incident,” Kimberly Allen, MIT’s director of media relations, wrote in an email to The Tech. “The timely warning was updated on May 24th to revise incorrect information that was initially provided by that reporting party to the MIT Police.”

A third timely warning was issued May 27 about an assault and burglary that happened earlier that day at Phi Kappa Theta. The reporting party stated that she was asleep on an upper floor in the house, and she awoke to an unknown individual touching her leg. He fled before responding officers arrived.

According to the MIT Police, there is no information to indicate that these three incidents are in any way connected, Allen wrote.

The MIT Police also issued timely warning emails about six other incidents in the month of May: burglaries at Burton Connor, Phi Kappa Theta, building E25, and Green Hall; a suspicious person at Pi Beta Phi; and a motor vehicle theft outside Baker House.

“Like all colleges and universities, MIT issues timely warning bulletins in compliance with the federal Clery Act,” Allen wrote. This legislation, signed in 1990, is designed to ensure that members of university communities are informed of threats to campus safety.