AUPD opens investigation into alleged break-in and sexual assault in Leonard Hall

Metropolitan Police Department will assist in ongoing investigation

AUPD opens investigation into alleged break-in and sexual assault in Leonard Hall
Leonard Hall

Editor’s note: This story contains mention of sexual assault. Please see the bottom of this story for additional resources. This is a developing story and will be updated as additional information becomes available. 

The American University Police Department is opening an investigation after an unidentified individual allegedly entered two dorm rooms in Leonard Hall without permission or authorization around 2 a.m. Monday. The announcement came in an email to the AU community from Phillip Morse, assistant vice president for university police services and emergency management. 

One of the four students living in the two rooms reported being sexually assaulted by the individual, according to Morse's email.

AUPD is working with the Metropolitan Police, including the sex crimes unit, and the investigation is ongoing. This process includes reviewing campus video footage, obtaining witness statements and collecting physical evidence from the scene, according to Morse.

The University did not specify whether the individual is a student.

AU said it will ramp up safety efforts in response by increasing AUPD patrols around the north side residence halls, adding Housing and Residence Life staff in Leonard Hall and providing additional front desk coverage in Leonard, Hughes and McDowell Halls. 

“We are dedicating the necessary resources to the investigation and to support those community members affected by this matter,” Morse wrote, adding that the University would provide updates.

Students who have experienced sexual assault or harassment can seek support through confidential resources such as the University’s Center for Well-Being Programs and Psychological Services, the Student Health Center, or the following hotlines:

  • Collegiate Assistance Program: 1-855-678-8679
  • Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (RAINN) anonymous chat
  • RAINN hotline: 1-800-656-4673
  • DC Rape Crisis Center: 202-333-7273

Non-confidential resources include the University’s Title IX Office and AUPD.

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