COC student reports alleged sexual assault on campus

Canyons Hall at College of the Canyons (Source: COC)

A female College of the Canyons (COC) student reported that she was sexually assaulted by a male acquaintance and COC student Wednesday morning, according to a campus-wide email sent by the COC administration Wednesday night.

“It has come to our attention that earlier today a male student allegedly coerced or forced a female student into a sexual act against her will,” the email to the campus community read.

The alleged male perpetrator approached the female acquaintance and allegedly coerced her into going with him to secluded location in a campus building where he assaulted her, according to the email.

“The accused student has been identified and removed from the campus community,” the email read. “He has been ordered to stay away from the College and all College events until the case has been completely resolved.”

Policies from the Santa Clarita Community College District, which oversees COC, state that the district will investigate all complaints against sexual assault regardless of whether a complaint is filed with local law enforcement.

Right now, the incident is being handled internally as part of the college’s student discipline process, according to Eric Harnish, COC’s vice president of public information, advocacy and external relations.

The female student will have the option to file with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at any time. In the meantime, the college is working with the student to ensure she has the resources and assistance she needs.

“Our health center staff is working with the student who reported the incident and making sure she has all the resources available to her and all the help she needs,” Harnish said.

COC’s Campus Safety Department said they issued the email warning to make the community aware of the incident and to inform individuals of how to protect themselves while the college continues its investigation.

College of the Canyons also issued the following warning to the campus community following the alleged incident:

Be cautious about who you are alone with, especially in secluded rooms or buildings. Do not accompany someone who you do not know well to a secluded place. Please report all suspicious activity or persons to Campus Safety or call 911. Community members should be vigilant while walking throughout campus and surrounding areas both during the day and at night and should take the appropriate precautions, such as walking with others whenever possible, or utilize the Campus Escort Service .

If you have been a victim of a similar crime, please seek assistance from Campus Safety. Remember, be aware of your surroundings, and, if you see something – say something.

Campus Safety phone numbers: 661-362-3229 or 661-510-3882.

Campus Safety: located in X-8.

Campus Escorts: Dial 0

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