Thursday, November 10, 2011

Briefs: November 11, 2011

By Courtney Donlin, News Editor

Unknown assailant gropes students

According to a report emailed to the campus, Campus Safety and Information received three separate reports of sexual harassment Tuesday.

Three female students reported to Campus Safety that an unknown male approached them and “inappropriately grabbed, slapped or touched their buttocks.” The assailant then asked for the womens’ personal information and fled the area.

Campus Safety received a similar report last week.

Each victim described the assailant as a black male, 5 foot 7 inches to 5 foot 8 inches and wearing dark clothing.

The email stated that Campus Safety is working with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in investigating the attacks, and escorts are still available 24 hours every day.

“Please be aware of your surroundings. We remind you that if you are approached by or observe individuals causing you concern, avoid contact and call Campus Safety immediately at 535-7911 as soon as possible,” the email stated.

Cremated remains of soldiers dumped in landfill

For five years, the Dover Air Force Base mortuary has practiced the disposal of soldiers’ remains by cremating the bodies and then dumping the ashes into a landfill in Virginia, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The practice of disposal, which was in place from 2003 to 2008, was not disclosed to the family members of the fallen.

“They said the procedure was limited to fragments or portions of body parts that were unable to be identified at first or were later recovered from the battlefield, and which family members had said could be disposed of by the military,” the Washington Post reported.

Lt. Gen. Darrell G. Jones, the Air Force’s deputy chief for personnel, told the Washington Post that the disposal was “common practice” and that the procedure has since improved.

According to the Washington Post, the procedure for disposal of remains was abandoned in favor of burial at sea.

College coach charged with child molestation

Former Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged Tuesday with 40 criminal counts related to sexual abuse of children. Sandusky, 67, coached at Penn State for more than 30 years. He is charged with abusing eight boys during a 15-year period.

According to a report by NPR, a former janitor witnessed an assault by Sandusky against a minor. Jim Calhoun, who worked at Penn State for eight months, walked in on Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a locker room shower. Calhoun reported the incident to coworkers and a supervisor.

Several Penn State workers have been accused of perjury in the case, including former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Head Coach Joe Paterno, according to NPR. Both Curley and Paterno have stepped down from their positions since being accused.

“This is a tragedy,” Paterno said in a statement. “This is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

The abuse will be investigated by the U.S. Department of Education, according to a report by the Associated Press.

“Aside from the charges against individuals, we need to look at whether a federal law that requires colleges and universities to report crimes on campus was broken,” Penn. Rep. Patrick Meehan said, according to NPR.