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Friday, January 22, 2021
METRO  |  CRIME

Police are searching for suspect involved in sexual battery near campus

The suspect has not been located as of Sunday evening.

Generic Crime 1.PNG
Generic Crime 1.PNG

Editors' note: This story contains mention of sexual assault.

The Gainesville Police Department is searching for a suspect possibly involved in a sexual battery that occured Saturday night near campus, according to a UF public safety email. 

Around 11 p.m. on Saturday, an unknown man walked a woman to her apartment at 311 SW 13th St., according to the UF email sent to students and faculty on Sunday evening. The incident took place inside of the residence located at the Social 28 Apartment Complex. The email did not include any further details about the incident. 

The suspect was described as a white male with short, dark hair whose height ranges from 5 feet 10 inches tall to 6 feet 2 inches tall, according to the public safety email. The suspect’s weight and clothes are unknown as of Sunday evening.  

This isn’t the first sexual assault to occur on or near campus this semester. 

In October, Jason O’Connell, a 20-year-old UF aerospace engineering junior and club hockey member, was arrested by GPD after he was accused of raping a woman in September at the Social 28 Apartment Complex –– the same location in Sunday’s report. 

UF is required to send out “timely warning messages” about crimes deemed a serious or constant threat to the campus community under the Clery Act, a federal law requiring universities to notify students and faculty of campus threats, such as sexual assault and gun violence. 

In September, UF did not notify students about O’Connell’s case stating that if a crime doesn’t occur under the Clery Act’s jurisdiction, which includes campus and UF properties, UF doesn’t need to send out an email notification.

However, the university notified students and faculty about Saturday’s battery –– at the same address –– citing “the close proximity of this incident to University of Florida properties,” according to the UF public safety email. 

Police ask anyone with information about the Saturday incident to call 352-955-1818 or text “GPDFL” and a tip to 274637. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 352-372-7867. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Contact Asta Hemenway at ahemenway@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @astahemenway.

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Asta Hemenway

Asta Hemenway is a third-year senior majoring in Journalism. Born in Tallahassee, she grew up Senegalese American. When she’s not writing or doing school, she loves watching Netflix and Tiktok in her spare time. 


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