The Winthrop University Police Department said it has concluded that a student’s October 2016 rape allegation was unfounded, saying it found “no evidence” of an attack in its investigation or on video footage.
School officials said in November that an 18-year-old Winthrop student reported to campus police that she was the victim of an Oct. 29 sex assault on campus. The student, who waited nearly three weeks to file a report, told police the assault happened while she was walking in the area behind Bancroft Hall.
A police report says the student told police she was “pinned to the ground” and assaulted by an unknown male while she was looking for a friend’s keys in the courtyard.
The Winthrop police department says it found no evidence that such an assault occurred or that an assailant was on campus.
“The campus was not in danger,” said Frank Zebedis, Winthrop police chief. He said no charges will be filed against the student.
The original police report said a male suspect approached the female victim from behind around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 29, causing the victim to stumble. She told police that the suspect got on top of her, forced her to perform oral sex on him and then fled.
But officers say they were unable to find any evidence of such an assault after reviewing video footage of the area at that time.
Zebedis said he urged members of the community to remain vigilant, saying Winthrop’s campus was “not immune to crime.”
“Therefore, we encourage members of our community to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times,” he said, “as well as to promptly report any criminal or unusual activity they observe on campus to Winthrop Police.”