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Buffalo State student who reported she was raped won’t press charges

A SUNY Buffalo State student who reported she was raped inside a vehicle in a campus parking lot on March 25 has declined to press charges, according to campus police.

The incident, the second report of a rape on campus within a 10-day period, happened just after midnight in a lot on Iroquois Drive near Rockwell Hall. The student knew her male attacker, who is also a student at the college, Buffalo State Police Chief Peter M. Carey said.

The female student told a counselor the next day and the incident was reported to police. The department began an investigation, but the student later told investigators she did not want to press criminal charges, Carey said.

She filed a complaint that’s being reviewed through the college’s disciplinary system. The process involves a hearing in front of a panel of students, faculty and staff and, if found responsible, the male student may face probation, suspension or expulsion.

The most recent report of a sexual assault occurred Sunday night. In that case, a female student said the assault occurred while visiting a male student’s apartment at the Student Apartment Complex at Letchworth and Grant streets. University Police and the Erie County District Attorney’s office are investigating.

There was also an incident March 17 on a main pedestrian walkway on campus that police classified as a sex offense.

A female student was being verbally harassed by two men, one of whom then grabbed and touched her buttocks, Carey said.

An investigation led to the arrest of two men – Brandon Berry, 21, a student at the University at Buffalo; and Peter Ojo, 23, a Buffalo State student.

Police charged Berry with forcible touching and harassment. Ojo was charged with harassment. Both also face disciplinary proceedings at their respective schools, Carey said.

The chief said he believes the three recently reported incidents reflect the increased emphasis that the college and the SUNY system is putting into education and awareness programs surrounding sexual assault prevention.

School officials are encouraging victims to report the attacks and provide them with the advocacy they need, Carey said.

“We’re very proactive in getting the information out and encouraging students to report this crime and any other crime so we can provide them assistance,” he said.

The school’s programs seem to be successful, he added.

“I’m not sure we’re getting more crimes than we had in the past,” he said. “I think we’re getting more victims coming forward.”

From 2012 through 2014, there were 15 reports of “forcible sex offenses” on the Buffalo State campus, according to statistics reported by University Police. Eleven of the incidents happened in residence halls, according to the department’s data.