Alcohol, no arrests common in FGCU sexual assault cases

FORT MYERS, Fla. A July 7 sexual assault marked the 16th such incident reported to Florida Gulf Coast University police within the past 4.5 years.

None of the previous investigations by FGCU police resulted in any arrests, but school officials said nine students have been sanctioned for sexual misconduct.

A 2013 case by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the arrest of a student, but he received no jail time after accepting a plea deal.

In at least 9 of the FGCU police cases, the victim knew the attacker, similar to the most recent incident.

School officials cited the relationship as to why a campus security alert wasn’t issued.

Scott Johnson, a forensic psychologist who teaches law enforcement how to conduct sexual assault investigations, said unless a suspect is either removed from campus or is being monitored, a threat to the campus may exist.

“We don’t know who they would target, so again that becomes a gray area of are they still really a threat to the population in general or not and sometimes they are because we don’t know who they will target next,” he said.

Another common thread among sexual assault cases is alcohol , Johnson said.

Six of FGCU’s cases involved drinking.

“When the perpetrator is intoxicated they still know what they are doing,” Johnson said. “They are not out of control, they understand what they are doing, They set out to do what they are do, and they chose to do what they do.”

When asked if the suspect in the July 7 incident was removed from campus, FGCU said that “appropriate safeguards” were being taken.

Reporter:Lauren Sweeney