Rape story unravels at the U of M

Privacy rules are requiring the public to try to piece together the shards of information stemming from an alleged rape in a University of Minnesota dorm last Sunday morning.

According to the Minnesota Daily:

The 18-year-old student told police she was in the hallway outside her room early Sunday morning when she met two men who walked her back to her room, according to a crime alert sent Tuesday. One of them threatened her with a knife, and then both raped her.

She told authorities she didn’t know the suspects when she reported the incident Monday.

Did it happen at all? Officials have been pulling back on the story, but won’t say why. Earlier this week they said the alleged attacker(s) wasn’t a stranger.

But today’s Star Tribune quotes U police saying there wasn’t an attack.

Curiously, they can say they don’t think she was the victim of an armed assault, but can’t say whether her story has changed.

“After continued University of Minnesota Police Department investigation, the previously reported sexual assault in Sanford Hall early Sunday morning is now being considered a student crisis intervention case,” a statement from the U said.

So what is it?

“Our priority right now is on providing the support to this student that she needs,” Pam Wheelock, U of M vice president, said when asked if the original story had changed.

Katie Eichele, director of the Aurora Center, said she can’t comment on this particular case, but cautioned against making quick judgments without all of the information.

“The victim-survivor is the most important person in all of this, and supporting what it is they’re going through and what they may want in the process.”

Of that, there is no question.

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