GVSU: 2 reports of sexual assaults near campus

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Valley State University on Sunday alerted students to two reports of sexual assaults near its Allendale campus that happened only a couple of hours apart.

GVSU was contacted by one of the alleged victims around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. According to an alert sent out to students, the victim was assaulted while walking near 48th Avenue and Lake Michigan Drive around 11:50 p.m. Friday. The victim was by the Burger King when they were approached by a man. Police say the reported assault took place on the side of the road.

A GVSU spokesperson told 24 Hour News 8 the alleged victim did not report the assault to law enforcement, instead telling someone on campus, and did not want to speak to police.

The suspect is described as 6-foot-2 with dark hair and tan skin. He was wearing basketball shorts and a baseball cap backward when the assault took place. Anyone with information is asked to call GVSU police at 616.331.3255 or Silent Observer at 877.887.4536.

The second reported assault, according to another alert, happened around 1:50 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Campus View apartments on 42nd Avenue, across the street from GVSU campus. The victim told the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office that a stranger approached from behind as the victim got something out of the back seat, committed the sexual assault, and then left. The sheriff’s department did not have a description of the suspect available.

The second victim did not come forward to police until Sunday afternoon. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 616.738.4022 or Silent Observer.

There was not any immediately indication regarding whether authorities thought the two reports were connected.

People who live and work in the area where the Friday incident happened say it’s a popular place to walk. Sometimes students hang out near the party store in the strip of stores near the corner of that intersection. There are lots of apartments nearby and campus is within walking distance. News of the reported assault put residents on edge.

“A little uncomfortable walking home, because I have to walk home and to work — normally by myself. So a little nerve-racking,” said Ashley Moore, who lives nearby.

She said she will now be getting a ride rather than walking.

“It’s just not right,” another resident, Heather Peters, said. “I mean, I don’t know if it’s because they are just drinking because of welcome week or whatever, but it’s just, you know, this is a small little city.”

GVSU also offers resources to victims through its Women’s Center and victim advocate Ashley Schulte, who can be reached at 616.331.2748.

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