An undergraduate woman was raped early last Saturday morning on Shepard St., in front of Hilles Library, the chief of University police said yesterday.
Saul Chafin said the police have no leads and are seeking information on the suspect, whom the woman described as a white male in his late twenties, with a medium build, clean appearance, soft voice and, possibly, a moustache.
The woman sustained no injuries requiring hospitalization in the assault, and is receiving counseling from the University Health Services (UHS) and her House tutors.
According to sources who asked not to be identified, the woman, a sophomore, was escorted to the corner of Garden and Shepard Streets by a friend. Continuing on her way home to the Quad, the woman was stopped by a man on the sidewalk between Garden St. and the entrance to the Quad, pulled into the shrubbery by the brick wall in front of Hilles, and raped.
According to an authority in the student's House who is providing her with counseling, several people did pass by while the rape was taking place, but apparently no one noticed the assault or alerted the police.
The police were unaware of the rape until 10:30 the next morning, after the woman sought help at UHS. An authority in the woman's House said the victim probably delayed in reporting the incident because she was "so disoriented" from the experience.
Nadja Gould, the UHS counselor in mental health services who handles rape cases, declined yesterday to comment on the case.
Several members of the University police and one House authority toured the Quad area this week in response to the incident, looking for ways to improve security. The investigators who participated are expected to recommend that the University install more lighting, and the bushes surrounding the Quad be trimmed regularly.
A special watchman had been hired to patrol the Quad before the incident, but was not scheduled to begin guarding the Quad until next week. "It's just ironic that what's happened has come before, not after, the security plan," one authority involved with the case said yesterday.