School officials: Female student sexually assaulted on Saint Rose campus

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Albany police are investigating a sexual assault that occurred on the campus of the College of Saint Rose early Wednesday morning.

School officials said the Albany Police Department was notified of a sexual assault of a female student inside her Centennial Hall apartment around 3:40 a.m. School security was notified at 4:10 a.m.

Students who live inside Centennial Hall said it takes a key card to access the building, but they said there are other ways to gain entry.

Aaron Valvo was shocked to receive the security alert from the school. He was even more surprised the alleged assault took place inside his residence building.

“I can’t remember anything like this happening on campus,” he said. “No, so it’s a shock.”

Officials said the victim’s roommate reported the assault to police, and the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment.

“I did speak to her parents earlier today to offer our concern and offer our assistance,” Vice President for Student Affairs Dennis McDonald said. “They were very appreciative of that, and they will call me when the time is right.”

McDonald said the school is taking the assault very seriously.

“Sexual assault on college campuses is a national issue,” he said. “It’s something that unfortunately happens on every campus.”

Saint Rose is an urban campus, which is why McDonald said key cards are needed to access the building. But Valvo said it’s not uncommon for someone to hold open the door and let anyone in.

“You feel safe here,” he said. “Like I feel safer here than other parts of Albany, so it’s not like I feel like I’m letting in a complete stranger. It’s more like students.”

McDonald said students need to stay aware of their surroundings and the people they let into residence halls.

“This is your building,” he said. “You need to be aware of the fact that you are living with other people, so you need to protect each other.”

A surveillance camera is installed on the outside and inside of the building.

Video footage captured the two suspects leaving the building. One left on foot, and one left in a vehicle. They remain at large.

Both are described as African American men of medium build wearing dark clothes and baseball caps.

The Albany Police Department and Saint Rose Security are actively investigating the incident.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Saint Rose Security at (518) 454-5187 or the Albany Police Department at (518) 438-4000.

The school said the college’s sexual harassment policies are being followed, and the victim is being supported. Resources are available for students and others in situations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence or stalking.

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