Authorities work to find suspect in rape near GVSU

Ottawa County

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating and Grand Valley State University students are on guard after a woman reported being raped at an off-campus party.

It happened around 2 a.m. Sunday at Enclave Apartments on Becker Drive near 48th Avenue in Allendale Township. The woman reported she was at a party when a man grabbed her, pulled her into a bathroom and assaulted her.

The university sent out an email alert to students later Sunday.

“My heart goes out to her,” GVSU senior Misgana Kurban said.

“I was very upset. It’s a very sad thing that happened. One sexual assault is too many,” added student Dorian Thompson.

Authorities say they are in contact with the 19-year-old who reported the rape and are relying on fellow partygoers to describe the attacker, who the woman said she had a conversation with earlier in the night.

“It’s more difficult without a named suspect but based upon the description we do have now and further descriptions from partygoers, we can identify a particular individual,” sheriff’s office Capt. Mark Bennett said. “We are confident that someone knew the individual. It’s just a matter of getting out the individual’s description that we can build based upon the witnesses and put a name with the face.”

Anyone with information about the assault is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 616.738.4000 or Silent Observer at 877.887.4536.

“We will do our very best we can to provide our services to the victim survivor and will work very hard to bring that individual to justice,” Bennett said.

The university says resources for survivors of sexual assault can be found online or through the GVSU Center for Women and Gender Equity and Victim Advocate Krystal Diel at 616.331.2748 or dielkrys@gvsu.edu. Survivors can also turn to the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

“Being able to share that story is the most important thing and I feel like it’s one of the steps to being able to heal yourself,” Kurban said.

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