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Aggravated assaults declined on U. of I. campus, latest report shows

Sharita Forrest, News Editor
217-244-1072; slforres@uiuc.edu

6/20/2006

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The number of aggravated assaults and criminal sexual assaults decreased in the University of Illinois reporting district during the reporting period from Sept. 1, 2005 to May 14, 2006. The number of robberies and other sex offenses (peeping Toms and public indecency) increased during that time, according to statistics released by the University of Illinois Division of Public Safety.

Eighty-two aggravated assaults and batteries were reported during the period, a decline of 27 percent, down from 113 during the same period the prior year, and 84 during the same period two years ago.

Police increased patrols and women were advised to take extra precautions after two women were attacked on Feb. 27 and March 2 in the Orchard Downs housing complex in Urbana. On March 3, U. of I. police arrested Jermaine D. Dixon of Champaign, who was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison on May 31.

The number of criminal sexual assaults continued to decline during the 2005-2006 reporting period, to 17, down from 21 during the prior year and 22 two years ago.

However, the number of peeping Toms and public indecency increased to 14, up from 11 the prior year.

Robberies also increased by 13 percent, to 43, up from 38 the year before and 34 two years ago. The majority of the robbery victims were male U. of I. students, nearly all of whom were robbed by strangers and between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

One attempted homicide also occurred in the U. of I. reporting district during the 2005-2006 period; on Jan. 22, a man was stabbed at a Champaign restaurant.

The most recent prior homicide in the campus area occurred in October 1998, when a man was shot and killed at a fraternity party in Champaign.

As during prior years, alcohol and drug use by victims and suspects continued to be a factor in campus area crimes, with 10 of the 17 victims and three of the suspects having consumed alcohol prior to the sexual assaults. In addition, 65 percent of the victims, suspects, or both, involved in aggravated assaults and batteries had consumed alcohol or drugs before the crimes occurred.

In a continuing pattern, most of the crimes occurred between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., including 72 of the 82 aggravated assaults and batteries, 13 of the 17 criminal sexual assaults and approximately half of the robberies and the other sex offenses.

The majority of crimes were concentrated in areas adjacent to the university campus rather than on U. of I. grounds, particularly in the northwest quadrant, an area roughly bounded by University Avenue on the north, Gregory Drive on the south, and Wright Street on the east and the railroad tracks just east of Neil Street on the west.

The university crime report includes incidents that occurred in the area extending from University Avenue on the north to Windsor Road on the south, Race Street on the east and the railroad tracks just east of Neil Street on the west.

Statistics on crime on the Urbana campus have been kept and publicly reported since 1995. The crime statistics are reported three times annually and in new student orientations and campus crime prevention programs.