Eastern Michigan University
Department of Public Safety
Informational Release October 12, 2007
Criminal Sexual Assault - Report number 07-1599
On October 11, 2007, a 20-year old resident of Ferndale, Mich., who is
not an EMU student, reported that she was on the EMU campus on Sept. 19,
2007 at approximately 9:30 p.m. The victim reports that at this time,
she voluntarily got in a car parked in the Ann St. Parking Lot with a
person she had just met. The victim reports that while in the vehicle,
the person committed criminal sexual conduct with forcible penetration
on the victim. The victim reports that she and the suspect got out of
the vehicle, when the suspect spoke with a second person, whom she did
not know, who grabbed her arm and walked her back to the vehicle. The
victim reports getting back in the vehicle and the second suspect
committed criminal sexual conduct with forcible penetration while in the
No weapons were used during the assaults and no injuries were reported
by the victim.
First of all, we've got the rather conspicuous avoidance of the word "rape". I'm not really sure why, because "criminal sexual conduct with forcible penetration" is wordier and more awkwardly phrased. And the explanations that some people have used in other cases don't really seem to apply here, since, a. this isn't a trial, and b. they're using "criminal sexual conduct" which is just as much against the law as rape is. It'd be like saying "forcibly coerced her into going to a place she didn't want to go, against her will, and without telling other people where she was" in place of "kidnapped her". I'm just not clear on the benefit.
The other problem is with the last line I quoted up there. I understand what the line means, but it just seems... I don't know... wrong to say "no injuries were reported" after you've said that the victim reported that someone "committed criminal sexual conduct with forcible penetration" against her. I'm not sure how that could be worded in a way that doesn't leave me feeling sort of off, though. I understand that what they're trying to say is that her attacker didn't break her arms or cut her or beat her up, but... I don't know, it just seems like there's a disconnect between "forcible penetration" and "no injuries were reported."
And, as the friend who passed this along pointed out, it sucks, and is indicative of the larger problems we're facing, that this could happen and that the victim would wait a month to report it. I know that this isn't a new thought, but a system where rape victims feel so helpless that they'll wait a month to report it (if they report at all) is seriously broken.