At nearly 3 a.m. on Dec. 3, a Rowan Alert stated that a female student at Holly Pointe Commons reported that “a male entered her room and assaulted her.”
The alert described the man’s description and advised to reach out to Public Safety if anyone came in contact with someone who matched the description.
Later that day, a Rowan Alert update via email read, “Earlier today, Rowan’s Department of Public Safety issued an alert message about a male who assaulted (sexual contact) a female in Holly Pointe Commons a little past midnight. The male has been described as having light skin, and was wearing a black outfit, black beanie and tan shoes. The victim did not require any medical attention, and we will continue to offer assistance as needed. Detectives are actively investigating the incident.”
The updated alert also reminded the Rowan community that residence halls require swipe cards for students’ protection, hosts are responsible for the actions of their visitors, and to be careful of people following students into buildings without swiping first.
On the night of the incident, several non-students entered Holly Pointe unauthorized, and one made contact with the victim and touched her without her consent.
“The victim had her door open, she was working out and that’s when the one guy went in her room. It wasn’t like he broke the door and went in her room… He shouldn’t have went in there. Absolutely not. That’s why he’s being charged,” said Reed Layton, the senior director of Public Safety.
Criminal charges were filed under trespassing and sexual contact.
On Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 9, another Rowan Alert email was sent out, updating students that the five perpetrators were charged and identified.
The email stated that, “In reviewing video footage, the group was seen entering the building unauthorized. The main perpetrator engaged the victim in a conversation with the victim and touched her without consent.”
Christopher Aragon Figueroa, 18 has been charged with criminal sexual contact and criminal trespass. The other four men who accompanied him were Terence L. Dawkins, 19, Keion R. Fowler, 19, Donell Holden, 22, and Ahmir M. Ramirez, 18. They are all charged with criminal trespass.
The charges will be reviewed by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.
Holly Pointe residents are expressing their concerns about the safety of the resident hall.
“When I heard about the news, I was terrified. I was up at the time and I was even terrified to go to the bathroom cause I was scared of going outside of my room… it’s very scary knowing that the place that we live is not as safe as we think it is,” said Olivia Saranin, a Holly Pointe resident.
According to Layton, Rowan plans to put more patrols in the building and reminds students to not let others in without their own access cards.
Earlier this semester, The Whit published an article about how easy it is to gain access to Holly Pointe. Regardless of the numerous reminders to not let someone in on the coattails of someone else, non-students are still entering the building unauthorized.
“I purposely don’t tell my mom about these things. I feel as if I were to tell my mother about these situations taking place where I’m living, she would not want me to live here. I personally love Rowan, I do. I love my friends, I love the environment, but those little things — not little things. But those things definitely make me consider like, ‘Is it safe?’” said student Abby Caruso.
According to the 2022 Rowan University Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, Rowan’s Glassboro campus reported 10 sexual offenses for 2020 and 16 for 2021.
“[The number of sexual assault] has increased here and there, and there’s several reasons. There’s more population on the campus. Second thing is the awareness of it — people aren’t as afraid as they used to be to bring it to the attention of people of some authority,” said Layton.
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