FILE PHOTO: LAUREN SEIBEL/THE HOYA A series of local sexual assaults on Georgetown students are being investigated by GUPD and MPD.
A series of local sexual assaults on Georgetown students are being investigated by GUPD and MPD.

The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a possible relation between a string of recent sexual assaults on four Georgetown students that occurred in the Georgetown, both on and off campus, according to a statement released by its office Wednesday.

The four assaults currently being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Division Sexual Assault Unit of the MPD took place between Aug. 3 and Sept. 12. The students were reported as victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.

The Georgetown University Police Department uses public safety alerts to notify the campus community of crimes reported to either GUPD or MPD that represent threats to students or to employees. GUPD sent public service announcements regarding sexual assaults Aug. 3, Aug. 24, Sept. 5 and Sept. 12.

The Aug. 3 assault targeted a Georgetown University Medical Center student and occurred on the 1600 block of 35th Street NW, with the perpetrator carrying a knife. An assault targeting an undergraduate student occurred Aug. 24 as the student was entering her residence in Village A. Another student was assaulted Sept. 6 on Potomac and N Street NW. A fourth student was sexual assaulted on 35 and N Street NW.

Additionally, MPD listed another sexual assault, occurring Aug. 23, near the intersection of 37 and T Street NW.

GUPD Chief Jay Gruber said GUPD will be increasing patrols in areas around campus such as the townhouses, Alumni Square, LXR and the Walsh building in response to the recent assaults.

Gruber also noted that MPD is aware of the increase in assaults in the area and will also be increasing its patrols in areas surrounding Georgetown’s campus in conjunction with GUPD.

“We’re working with the Metropolitan Police Department, second district,” Gruber said. “They have let us know that they will increase patrols and pay special attention to this area.”

According to the MPD, it is investigating a possible connection between the incidents.

Gruber said the suspects are still at large. He noted there appeared to be two people committing the crimes based on the descriptions provided by the victims. A suspect in two of the attacks has been described as a possibly Hispanic male in his early twenties, 5’6’’ in height. Another suspect has been described as 6’1’’ in height. The other suspect was described as a black male between 5’9’’to 5’11’’ in height, with a slim build.

“I think that some of them are connected; some of them are the same suspects. But, we have two different descriptions of two different males,” Gruber said. “But it looks like at least a couple of these have been perpetrated by the same offender.”

Gruber said students who are out at night should take advantage of Georgetown’s safety resources such as SafeRides shuttle and police escorts available 24 hours per day. Gruber also advised students to exercise caution when walking at night.

“Our expectation is to be able to walk wherever you want and be unfettered,” Gruber said. “Reality is that in the city, there are people that do these things. So, people need to take the extra step to keep themselves safe.”

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