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Off-Campus Assault

By Samantha Latos; Assist. News Editor
On October 8, 2017

Off-Campus Assault

Samantha Lato

Assist. News Editor

On October 1st, at around 3 in the morning, a student of Plymouth State University reported to the University Police that he or she had been assaulted on Main Street. The victim came forward as soon as it was safe to do so. Although not officially, this assault is considered a possible hate crime. The underlying crime in this investigation is assault. It is confirmed that the victim is safe, and did not need any medical attention.

Steven Temperino, Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management, as well as a member of the University Police Department, is intolerant of any violence on our campus. He also wants students to understand what constitutes a hate crime. “When prosecutors, or the police feel that a crime was motivated by a bias, then that category of crime changes to a hate crime," he said, “That allows us to impose enhanced penalties, to those convicted of a crime in that way.” These biases range from race, gender, and religion, among others. University Police have reason to believe that this assault occurred because suspects believed the victim was Muslim. As they are early on in their investigation, no witnesses or suspects have been identified at this time. The investigation is new, and anyone who has any information is encouraged to come forward, and call Lieutenant Comeau at 535-2570.

The Plymouth State Police Department sent out an email that afternoon, addressing what happened. “We are not going to hide it," Mr. Temperino said, “We made everyone aware, just like we would with anything else.” There will be a meeting in the HUB on October 5th, to discuss Hate and Violence. This assault occurred off-campus, but it involved at least one PSU student, and so it needs to be brought to the student body’s attention.

PSU is completely intolerant to crime, especially crimes motivated by any and all prejudice. Mr. Temperino does not recall seeing violence like this before. “In the past, we have seen crimes such as vandalism, in which they wrote slurs through graffiti”, he said, “Something like this is concerning in a different way. We still won’t tolerate it.” Students are encouraged to speak about this, and remain aware. No one on campus wants a repeat of this ugly matter. If anyone has further questions or concerns, please call the Director of Public Safety at 535-2848. Reporting assault to the University Police is crucial for safety of victims, as well as all members of this community. If anyone is a victim to any crime, please to the University Police at 535-2330

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