Police investigating sexual assault at MCLA

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NORTH ADAMS — Police are investigating a break-in and sexual assault that was reported at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts over the weekend.

Around 3 a.m. Saturday, a man entered an unlocked townhouse on campus and went into an upstairs bedroom, where he fondled the victim, according to an email from MCLA Police Chief Daniel Colonno that was addressed to campus community members.

The man fled when the victim woke up. He was described as African American, with a thin build and a round head, and wearing a white long-sleeved shirt.

In a statement, MCLA said that there is a suspect under investigation, but declined to comment further because of the "active criminal investigation."

"MCLA has zero tolerance for any acts of sexual violence against members of our campus community and will diligently investigate reports of sexual assault, and take any and all appropriate actions against anyone found to have committed crimes against any members of our campus community," the statement read. "We encourage anyone who senses a potential threat or witnesses suspicious behavior on campus, or is a victim of violence themselves, to please call campus police immediately."

In his email, Colonno said the "incident serves as a reminder to resident students to lock your doors and ground level windows and for everyone to practice safe behaviors such as being alert, staying in groups, and to contact MCLA Campus Police if you are feeling unsafe or require an escort."

Anyone with information is asked to contact MCLA police by dialing 5100 from any campus phone or calling 413-662-5100 from off campus.

MCLA's Office of Public Safety is available 24/7 and can be reached at 413-662-5283 or by dialing 911. The MCLA Counseling Services Office can be reached at 413-662-5331 and the college's Title IX Coordinator can be reached at 413-662-5571.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.



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