UPDATED 10/31/18: This story was updated to reflect new information regarding the investigation into the sexual assault reported on Sept. 28th, from which police determined the report to be false.
A sexual assault was reported by a female student to Cypress College Campus Safety on Sept. 28 and has since been determined to be false, according to a Timely Warning released by the Office of Campus Communications and an advisory released by the Cypress College Police Department. The incident was reported to have occurred on Aug. 31, 2018, around 5 pm.
According to the Timely Warning, a student alleged they were abducted by a 5-feet-7-inch, bald man on August 31, by the drop off point located near the Valley View entrance to the school. The student reported that after being forced into the assailant’s car, she was sexually assaulted and then released in a construction area behind the Home Depot on Lincoln Ave.
Video surveillance revealed a car matching the victim’s description appearing around the reported time of the incident and appears to be a Ford Crown Victoria with a yellow body and black trim, with black rims.
According to an advisory released by the Cypress Police Department on Oct. 23, 2018, after a thorough review of evidence- including interviews with the alleged victim- detectives determined the allegation to be false. “It is disappointing that someone would falsely report something like this and raise the level of fear on the campus and draw suspicion to an innocent person,” said the advisory. The Cypress Police Department asks victims or victims not to be dissuaded from reporting future incidents, adding that reports would never be dismissed “unless our detectives were certain the information was false.”
This is not the first time Cypress College has had reports of sexual assaults and harassment on campus. On March 19, 2014 a man in a white, 2 door pickup truck attempted to lure a female student into his car, and reports of men aggressively engaging female students have occurred on several occasions, according to Timely Warnings released by Campus Communications. The Cypress College Annual Safety and Security Report for 2017 shows that five sexual assaults were reported between 2014 and 2015, with no sexual assaults reported in 2016.
Regarding safety on campus, Director of Campus Communications Marc Posner said that Cypress College works “very diligently to get as close to zero [incidents] as possible,” while striving to ensure that students are given information that is actionable to them. “Our philosophy is to make sure we are upfront when something happens, so students can do what’s best for them.”
The Cypress Police Department has concluded its investigation into the Sept. 28 incident, but encourages students to step forward concerning future incidents and to contact Campus Safety at (714) 484-7387 or the police department. Students are also reminded that Campus Safety can be contacted on all days, at any hour, and asked to report all suspicious behavior and incidents.