Investigation continues into the report of an assault on a graduate student on August 28 at the Small Animal Hospital of the School of Veterinary Medicine, said Maureen Rush, director of police operations at Penn Public Safety.
About 7:30 a.m. that Thursday, workmen entering the corridor leading to the women's locker room found a 28 -year-old woman unconscious, her mouth taped and her hands bound. She was taken to Thomas Jefferson Hospital where she was treated and released the same day, after providing police with the information that she had been struck from behind and had not seen her attacker.
At a press conference on the 29th, both Penn's Public Safety chief Thomas Seamon and Lt. Kenneth Coluzzi of the Philadelphia Police said that in May the student had reported a similar incident in a restroom at VHUP, and over the weeks that followed she had reported receipt of pornographic and threatening mail. Both also said they thought the woman was targeted specifically and that "It wasn't a random act toward a student or staff," as Mr. Seamon put it. Later Ms. Rush issued a statement for faculty, staff and students which noted " a great deal of rumor, and attendant publicity..." about the incident but added:
Candidly, we don't know exactly what happened, or why. We are, though, relieved that the victim, a student, is in good condition following a thorough examination at the hospital, and she is at home. We are very, very grateful for that. This incident is under investigation by the Philadelphia Police Department; we are cooperating and University Police are actively participating in the investigation. The evidence at this point gives us no reason to believe that anyone at the Veterinary School, or at Penn, is at risk from anything connected with this incident.
We will continue to keep you advised as the investigation of this incident progresses.
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