With no leads on West Campus sex assault, students told to stay vigilant

UT students walking in West Campus at night (KXAN Photo)
UT students walking in West Campus at night (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After two weeks of investigations, Austin police still have no leads in the sexual assault of a University of Texas student that happened in West Campus earlier this month. 

Police say patrols are closely monitoring the area, and are asking anyone living in West Campus to remain vigilant.

“Know where you are and who’s around you, keep your head up, don’t have it buried in a phone, but keep your phone handy so that way if you need to call 911 you have it immediately available,” Officer Destiny Winston with the Austin Police Department says.

Students we spoke with say knowing the people responsible are not in jail is frightening.

“You just never know, especially when you’re walking home alone, who could be out there targeting students,” Haley Rodriguez, a UT student said.

Halima Boutlaeb, another student, said, “It’s terrifying and this is something that I feel like guys will never understand, just the fear of being a woman and being attacked, especially on campus where we’re supposed to be feeling safe.”

Police say the crime is being investigated by detectives with the sex crimes unit.

“They interview any type of witnesses, the complainants, the victim of course and they basically use all the information that they can gather to put the piece of the puzzle together,” Winston said. “If you were in the area at the time of the incident or you may have seen something or just maybe something just didn’t look right to you, please call the Austin Police Department.”

Students say they’re still worried the attackers are still out there.

“I just hope that they’re keeping students on the mind and that they’re doing everything they can,” Rodriguez says.

“It’s terrifying I don’t know how you wouldn’t be living in fear with something like this happening and no one is really talking about it I don’t even know about it until recently it’s awful,” Boutlaeb says.

“We understand the sensitivity of this type of incident we take it very seriously we are actively working on this case,” Officer Winston said.

Police would like to remind students to never walk alone at night, use campus resources, like student escort services to and from campus.

Walk with at least one ear bud out of your ear, carry pepper spray and if something doesn’t feel right, call police.

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