VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — An investigation is underway at Villanova University after a male student is accused of assaulting four female students on campus. Students received an email Wednesday morning about the alleged sexual assaults and they say it has them questioning their own safety on campus.
“I hate that we got that email today and that it happened,” one student said.READ MORE: Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley Resigns Over Mishandling Of Remains Belonging To Victims Of 1985 MOVE Bombing
Villanova students received an email from campus officials stating that on March 1, four female students reported they had been sexually assaulted by the same known male student in university residence halls.
“The fact that something happened on such a small campus we could know the guy and the girls,” a student said.
The email goes on to say complaints ranged from non-consensual sexual touching to intercourse.
“It was a shock to see that,” one student said.
The university says it immediately began an investigation and the male student is no longer on campus. A university spokesperson would not comment whether the student left voluntarily or through disciplinary action.
Also in the email to students, the university wrote it is investigating a separate sexual assault reported in late February.READ MORE: Taste With Tori: Take Your Taste Buds On Trip To Europe While Visiting Paloma's In Phoenixville
The university, we’ve learned, is partnering with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office.
“I feel safe until I read something like that and everything changes and I question everything,” one student said.
Crime statistics on Villanova’s website indicate five rapes happened on campus in 2017, three in 2018 and 10 in 2019. Still, students tell CBS3 they were blindsided by the news.
“It’s like every once in a while we get one of these emails about a sexual assault happening and it comes out of nowhere. Just like more communications with the students now, just awareness that it’s happening,” one student said.
In the email sent to students, Villanova did include information for reporting sexual assaults through the student resource center and public safety office. Villanova Public Safety can be reached at 610-519-5800.
They also say they are planning a series of community conversations around sexual assaults and student safety.MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Urges Voters To Choose 'No' On Ballot Questions That Would Limit Executive Order Powers
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.