FITCHBURG, MASS. (WHDH) - Fitchburg State University issued a safety notice to members of the campus community on Sunday, Oct. 8, advising that University Police are searching for an individual who reportedly assaulted a female student on campus and may have approached other female students in recent days.

A student reported being assaulted in the campus library the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 4, between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. She described the assailant as a male, approximately 19 years of age, standing 5 feet, 5 inches tall with a thin build, who spoke with an accent of undetermined origin. She said the male had approached her in the library and began a conversation before initiating physical contact that escalated into sexual assault.

The incident was reported to police this weekend. Subsequent investigation yielded reports from additional female students who said they had recently been approached at other campus locations by a suspicious male, with a similar physical description from the allegations in the library. A comprehensive police investigation is continuing. Additional patrols are also being conducted in the area of these reported encounters.

The safety of the campus community is paramount, and the university is working with public safety partners to locate the individual described in the reported assault on campus, and our community members will see a heightened police presence around these public locations while this investigation continues. 

While the incident reported this week at the library is troubling, such encounters are extremely rare. As a public institution, the campus has spaces and facilities that are open to the public.

University Police ask that anyone with information about this individual or potentially similar interactions contact them at 978.665.3111. Additional information about on- and off-campus safety may be found on the police website.

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