The Athens City Chief of Police and the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office today alerted members of the community that they have identified a third sexual assault linked to cases in 2006 and June of 2015.
DNA evidence from a sexual assault occurring on December 12, 2015 matches the DNA evidence from the suspect involved with the 2006 and June 2015 cases. The sexual assault occurred under similar circumstances, when the female victim walked home alone from the uptown area early in the morning.
“The investigation into this case, and related cases, is ongoing, and we are confident we will capture and bring to justice this serial offender,” said Athens Chief of Police Tom Pyle. “We encourage everyone, especially students, to stay alert and be upstanding and active bystanders.” www.oaesv.org/standup/
Athens police believe the suspect to be a white male in his late-20s to early-30s. His height is 5’8” to 5’9”, and he weights approximately 160 pounds.
Anyone with information should contact the Athens Police Department in the manners outlined in the 14JAN2016 press release (attached).
****Helpful information from the
Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program (SAOP) (740)591-4266
Safety Tips for preventing Sexual Assault
The only real way to prevent a sexual assault is to prevent the perpetrators from performing the assault. That being said there are some steps that can be taken in order to make sure that you are being as safe as you can be.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, these are some actions that can be taken to help prevent sexual assault:
- Be a role model for respectful behavior to those around you.
- Talk with your family about healthy sexual development and personal boundaries.
- Intervene and speak up when you see inappropriate behavior. To better equip yourself in these situations, practice what you might say or do. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network has these tips for bystanders:
Create a distraction.
Do what you can to interrupt the situation. A distraction can give the person at risk a chance to get to a safe place.
Talk directly to the person who might be in trouble.
Refer to an authority.
Sometimes the safest way to intervene is to refer to a neutral party with the authority to change the situation, like an RA or security guard.
It can be intimidating to approach a situation alone. Enlist another person to support you.
Your actions matter
Whether or not you were able to change the outcome, by stepping in you are helping to change the way people think about their role in preventing sexual assault. If you suspect that someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are steps you can take to support that person and show you care.
- Talk to someone from your local sexual assault center for more information. Invite them to speak in your schools, faith communities or workplaces.
- Learn more about sexual violence and share information with others.
If you find yourself or notice that someone else is in an emergency situation please do not hesitate to call 911.
Regardless of age or gender, the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program is available within Athens, Meigs, Perry, Vinton, Hocking, Gallia and Morgan counties to assist survivors of sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking. We help in accessing supportive services, in advocating for victims’ rights, and in assisting survivors beginning their journey towards recovery. We can be reached at 740-591-4266.