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U-District rape suspect arrested as safety concerns mount

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Police say they arrested a 32-year-old man Tuesday for an alleged rape in the U-District Sunday morning.

Around 9 a.m. Sunday morning, a U-District woman reported a rape to police, stating that she woke up and found a man she didn’t know on top of her. She then forced him out of her residence and called 911, according to police.

The suspect was identified by police Tuesday afternoon, who “took him into custody for investigation of rape.”

A notification was sent out to the university community from the University of Washington Police Department (UWPD) on Tuesday describing the incident. It said police responded to a report of a sexual assault that had occurred between 1:30 a.m. and 5:20 a.m. Sunday in the 4700 block of 16th Avenue Northeast, on Greek Row. 

At the time of the alert, the suspect’s description was still under investigation. 

Meanwhile, there have been growing safety concerns in the Greek Row area as a suspicious white van has been patrolling the neighborhood for days, leading sorority leadership to report the vehicle to both UWPD and Seattle police.

A spokesperson for SPD said Wednesday evening that the suspect is not related to the van, which belongs to a contractor that has been working in the neighborhood.

“All suspicious activity in our community has been reported to both UWPD and SPD and we are working with them to advocate for the safety of our members,” Panhellenic President Madi Welsh told The Daily Tuesday evening. She noted that no sororities were under a “lockdown.”

One sorority president told members Tuesday night that Panhellenic leadership was working on drafting letters to UWPD and SPD “to express our frustration with their lack of response to the current situation.” They are also working on creating a spreadsheet for sorority members to report incidents.

An email to Panhellenic members outlined these safety concerns, urging students to travel with members of their household at night and alerting authorities if they come across anything suspicious.

Reach News Editors Jake Goldstein-Street and Ash Shah at Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet @itsashshah

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