The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 9th

Rape victim asks that search for assailants halt

The 27-year-old woman who reported being raped near Franklin Street Thursday has asked Chapel Hill Police not to pursue the investigation, according to a Tuesday press release.

Based on the release, police are no longer actively seeking her assailants.

“While honoring the victim’s request to not pursue an investigation, police are still asking anyone with new information to come forward,” the release states.

UNC’s Department of Public Safety, which was assisting police in the investigation, released an Alert Carolina report related to the event Tuesday.

The message instructed students to call the Chapel Hill Police Department or Crime Stoppers if they have any information on the event.

The rape was reported at about 2:15 a.m. Thursday near the alley behind Cosmic Cantina at 128 E. Franklin St.

An initial police report stated that the woman had been assaulted behind a dumpster and said that a bag and iPhone had been stolen.

Project Dinah, an organization aimed at preventing sexual assault, released a statement Monday criticizing campus police for not notifying students about the incident.

“We are disappointed that the Department of Public Safety has yet to notify UNC’s student body about this horrible event,” the release stated.

DPS officials said Monday that they did not believe the information they knew merited a release.

Randy Young, spokesman for DPS, said the department decided to make a release just a day later because Chapel Hill police had also issued their first release related to the incident.

“We were trying to aid this agency,” he said.

He said generally, if Chapel Hill police put out a press release relating to something that happened near campus or affects campus, the department also issues an alert.

Project Dinah member Bethany Hargis said the group supports the woman who filed the complaint’s decision not to pursue an investigation.

“We’ll definitely support the survivor’s choice and whatever her wish is,” she said.

Hargis said that even though the woman who reported the rape has asked that the investigation stop, it is still important for police and the community to remain alert.

“The police definitely have a responsibility to be vigilant in preventing crimes,” she said.

Contact the City Editor at city@dailytarheel.com.

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