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U Of I To Beef Up Police Force After Assault

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U Of I Assault

A student was sexually assaulted Monday in her Forbes Hall dorm at the University of Illinois. (Credit: CBS)

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Assaults On Men, Peeping Tom Incidents Also Reported

URBANA, Ill. (CBS) - The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is having its campus police patrol for extra hours, and plans to hire more officers, after an attack on a female student in a dorm and a series of assaults on men.

University police Chief Barbara O’Connor told The Champaign News-Gazette on Wednesday that crime is up on the Urbana-Champaign campus this fall. She noted increases in aggravated batteries and robberies in particular.

The university is paying its police officers overtime, and is in the process of hiring three more officers, according to spokeswoman Robin Kaler. The university is also considering hiring a private security firm, the News-Gazette reported.

At 10:55 a.m. Monday, a female student was showering in the fourth-floor restroom at Forbes Hall, at 101 E. Gregory Dr. in Champaign, when she was attacked. The victim screamed and tried to fight off her attacker, and she was hit in the head during the struggle.

The suspect fled down a stairwell in the dorm and has not been seen since.

He is described as a black male between the ages of 40 and 50, standing 5 feet 11 tall and weighing 150 pounds, with a medium build and salt-and-pepper hair. He was last seen wearing black shoes and a gray jacket, and some witnesses said he appeared to be homeless.

Meanwhile, the men who have been assaulted have typically been walking alone. Some were on campus and others were not.

In further addition, seven peeping tom incidents have been reported at the school since Jan. 1. The most recent was just this past Tuesday at 2:20 p.m., when a man was caught using a cell phone trying to videotape a girl showering. The incident happened at the Allen Hall dormitory, at 1005 W. Gregory Dr. in Urbana.

Police do not believe the peeping tom incidents are related to the attack on Monday.

As police investigate, students are calling for better security at the Forbes Hall dorm where the Monday attack happened. Some asked for locks to be installed on the doors at Forbes, as they were at the nearby Hopkins Hall dorm. But housing representatives said the locks at Hopkins had all been broken or dismantled by residents, the Daily Illini reported.

Other students asked for card-swipe mechanisms and security cameras, and resident advisers at Forbes are working with police to offer a self-defense class to students at Forbes Hall, the Daily Illini reported.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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