The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department released specific details regarding an alleged sexual assault that occurred at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity late Monday night.
UNLPD Chief Hassan Ramzah said the alleged sexual assault at the fraternity, commonly known as FIJI, involved a 17-year-old female student and a 19-year-old male student.
“Given the traumatic nature of sexual assault, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department works closely with the victim-survivor to investigate the incident,” Ramzah said. “And given the sensitive nature, we work with the victim at their pace in investigation, not behind or ahead, but with them.”
The suspect is a member of the fraternity, Ramzah said, and the case remains under investigation, so the identity will not be given out at this time.
“We do not release that information in order not to compromise the ongoing investigation,” Ramzah told The Daily Nebraskan.
He said there is not an ongoing threat to the UNL community based on the circumstances involved in the case.
Police are in the process of working through communication with the suspect’s legal representation and no charges have been filed against him, according to Ramzah.
“I know at times there’s, from the outside looking in, there’s a desire to immediately take action to make an arrest of an individual, or a person responsible,” he said. “But we have to follow the steps and processes that’s both recognizing the victim’s needs but also the information that’s available for the case.”
UNLPD officers responded around 3:40 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, to Bryan East hospital, where they were referred to the survivor by Lincoln Police Department officers, according to Ramzah.
The survivor told officers, who are trained for trauma-informed interviews, that she and an 18-year-old female acquaintance had gone to the house together before the acquaintance had left prior to the alleged assault.
The survivor later left the fraternity and walked from the fraternity to 17th and R streets where the acquaintance drove her to the hospital.
UNLPD is a “duly authorized” organization that can investigate cases and present them to the county attorney, but the department is not responsible for charging cases or determining guilt, according to Ramzah.
“We are fact finders,” Ramzah said. “Our responsibility, job is to try to put together the best case possible that we can present for prosecution to the county attorney’s office.”
Protesters have vowed to continue until the suspect is held accountable and FIJI is abolished, and Ramzah said UNLPD will continue to respect protesters’ First Amendment rights.
“We are here to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” he said. “We honor and support the campus community to exercise their constitutional rights, the ability to assemble and conduct a rally, protest, demonstration, in a sense.”
Ramzah said UNLPD appreciates the support of the campus community and will continue to investigate the case. Anyone with tips is encouraged to reach out to police at 402-472-2222.
“Every case is important, requires thorough follow up and work with a sense of care, compassion and empathy for victim survivor,” Ramzah said.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault or violence, you can reach out to UNL’s Center for Advocacy, Response and Education at firstname.lastname@example.org, Institutional Equity and Compliance at 402.472.3417 or Counseling and Psychological Services at 402.472.7450 for additional resources.