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Archie Ingersoll, Forum Communications Co., Published September 21 2010

Two college students claim sexual assault by same man

GRAND FORKS – Two college students reported they were sexually assaulted by the same man during the same Grand Forks house party over the weekend, police said.

“It’s an unusual situation, I guess, in that we have two victims and one person of interest at this point,” Lt. Rahn Farder said Monday.

Farder said the two female victims – an 18-year-old North Dakota State University student visiting from Fargo and a 19-year-old University of North Dakota student – were acquaintances of their alleged attacker.

He said the women were assaulted at different times during the party that was held at a house on the north side of Grand Forks several blocks from UND’s campus.

For fear of compromising the investigation, Farder would not share specifics about the alleged assaults. A police report uses the numeric code for “forcible rape” in listing the offenses allegedly committed.

Farder said police have not determined if alcohol was involved in the incidents, and they do not know yet if the women knew each other.

Farder, of the Grand Forks Police Department, said the women arrived at Altru Hospital at different times; one was transported by a UND police officer, and the other came with friends. Both women underwent sexual assault exams at the hospital, he said.

Because the alleged assault occurred off campus, officers from the Grand Forks Police Department were dispatched at 3 a.m. Sunday to Altru’s emergency room to speak with the victims. Farder said police briefly interviewed the women and plan to re-interview them.

As of Monday afternoon, investigators had not yet interviewed their “person of interest,” who is not in custody. Farder would not release the man’s name but would only say he’s a “young adult” who lives in Grand Forks.


Archie Ingersoll writes for the Grand Forks Herald