Sexual assault reported at ISU Arboretum

Danielle Ferguson

An ISU student reported being sexually assaulted by an acquaintance in the ISU Arboretum, located on the southwest portion of campus near the old sports complex.

The incident occurred during the morning of April 19, according to a timely warning sent out by Iowa State University from about 8:30 to 9 p.m. April 22.

Iowa State is required to send out timely warnings as part of the Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities to disclose information about crimes on and near the campuses that may present a threat to the safety of the campus community.

Not every sexual assault requires a timely warning, just those that are on and near the campus. 

Iowa State is one of 90 colleges and universities under investigation for how it handles sexual assault. The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights is visiting campus this week to hold individual meetings. A forum was held Tuesday evening for open comment on the university’s policies.

If you have experienced a sexual assault and choose to report it, here are services available to you and steps you may need to take.

If you report a sexual assault to one of the Story County Sexual Assault Response Team, or SART, centers — Mary Greeley, Thielen Health Center or Story County Medical Center — a SART group will come to the site and provide information to you.

These group members include:

  • a sexual assault nurse examiner who has special training in collecting sexual assault evidence,
  • a sexual assault advocate whom offers emotional support and victim rights education and
  • a law enforcement officer who takes a report of the investigation, depending on how involved the victim wishes to be.

Once at the medical center, you may select any or all of the services SART offers to you:

  • ACCESS (Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support) – 29-ALERT or (515) 292-5378
  • Mary Greeley Medical Center…..(515) 239-2155
  • Thielen Student Health Center….(515) 294-5801
  • Planned Parenthood………………..(515) 292-1000
  • Story County Medical Center…….(515) 382-2111
  • ISU Police ……………………………..(515) 294-4428
  • Ames Police …………………………..(515) 239-5133
  • Story County Sheriff’s Office ……(515) 382-6566
  • ISU Dean of Students Office…….(515) 294-1020
  • Office of Equal Opportunity………(515) 294-7612

After being sexually assaulted, the Sexual Assault Response Team advises that victims do NOT: 

  • Change anything at the location where the assault occurred
  • Eat or drink
  • Shower
  • Brush your teeth
  • Go to the bathroom
  • Change your clothes

These activities could destroy physical evidence that may be helpful if you later decide to pursue legal action.

SART also advises victims that a sexual assault is never their fault.

Anthony Greiter, outreach officer with ISU police, said victims’ friends play a big role in the reporting process.

He advised victims’ friends to:

  • Believe the victim
  • Do not try to be the investigator — leave it to the police
  • Do not promise that the perpetrator will be punished