NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois State University Police said they are investigating three separate sex crimes that happened on campus.
On Sunday, Aug. 29, ISU Police received reports of two sexual assaults, one in Cardinal Court and one in Watterson Towers. On Monday, police received a report of a sexual abuse case in Watterson Towers that also occurred over the weekend.
Police said these three incidents are unrelated and each has different suspects. One suspect, Marvellous Chineachirem Osadeba, 19, has been arrested for sexual abuse and unlawful restraint.
Osadeba was being held at the McLean County Jail, but is now free on bond.
ISU Police chief Aaron Woodruff said police are hoping these are the only sexual assault crimes they have to investigate this year. According to a Facebook post made by the department, 20% of women and 6% of men will be assaulted during college.
“If you are somebody who is considering having sex with somebody else, make sure that consent is freely given and that the intoxication piece isn’t involved,” Woodruff said.
In many cases, including at least one of the three active investigations, alcohol was involved in some fashion, according to Woodruff. He said consent can’t be given while someone is drunk and in the past, there have been successful prosecutions involving that argument.
“Both parties have to freely give their consent. Technically under Illinois law, right now you could prosecute somebody if you know that they are intoxicated and unable to give consent,” Woodruff said.
Woodruff said in most instances, someone is abused by someone they know. According to a Department of Justice report, 82% of rape victims are raped by someone they know. Only 18% are assaulted by a total stranger.
“The reason we send out the information is to make students aware; it is really about awareness that these do happen and it isn’t the person jumping out of the bushes, it is somebody that they know,” Woodruff said.
ISU director of media relations, Eric Jome said before coming to school, students are required to go through orientation. One of the topics, sexual assault.
“Emphasizing the importance of consent in relationships and also emphasizing education about preventing these types of things from happening in the first place,” Jome said.
Jome said students are taught how to avoid the situations that lead to most sexual assaults, but if they are assaulted it can be reported to ISU’s Title IX office, ISU Police or not reported at all.
“The process of reporting and how far that’s carried is also up to the survivor as well, so making sure those resources are there,” Jome said.
While encouraged to report an assault, victims are not required to or within a certain timeframe. The university has a confidential counseling service for survivors that keeps the sessions between counselor and patient.
Woodruff said his department offers personal safety and self-defense courses for all students.
“The whole goal of those programs is really to teach our students to be assertive and to make sure that they’re telling people no when they mean no. And making sure that if they need to use force that they have the means,” Woodruff said.
Students are reminded sexual assault can happen anywhere regardless of if they live on or off campus.
Woodruff and Jome encourage students to look out for one another and report any concerning behavior to the proper officials.
In addition to on-campus services, there are also many off-campus services in McLean County, including the YWCA Stepping Stones program and PATH Crisis Center. A full list of reporting, resources and medical options can be found on ISU’s website.