USC police look into reports of sexual assault at Clemson-Carolina game

usc police look into reports of sexual assault at football game

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) — Two women claim they were sexually assaulted during the USC-Clemson football game and now the University of South Carolina is reacting to those reports.

According to the incident report, the sexual assault happened just 30 minutes after the game started at Williams Brice Stadium.

University of South Carolina police say one victim was walking down the stairs when she was assaulted, another while she was sitting in the stands.

Police did not reveal the age of the victims or the location inside the stadium in the incident report. In it, officers say one victim was walking down the stairs when she was grabbed from behind.

The victim immediately addressed the situation with the person responsible, but when she turned to walk away he assaulted her again. The report says the man stuck his hand up her skirt.

Sexual violence experts say it’s easier for perpetrators to hide from their actions in a setting with a lot of people.

Mary Dell Hayes, the executive director of Sexual Trauma Services, explained how victims often feel cornered when they don’t know their attacker.

“Because you feel don’t know enough, you question if it happened, or if that experience is valid and that’s really challenging as well. It’s not a competition to have the worst allegation…any sexual crime is a crime and it’s wrong,” said Hayes.

A spokesperson for the University of South Carolina says the school is shocked at the situation and it’s unfortunate the perpetrators were unable to be identified.

The university will continue to look into the incident. The description of the suspects is limited to their clothing.

Read the University of South Carolina’s full statement below:

It is appalling that someone would commit such a reprehensible act and it is indeed unfortunate that the identities of the alleged perpetrators were not able to be discerned during the course of a thorough investigation. Clearly, this behavior violates our community standards and will not be tolerated on our campus. We will not hesitate to pursue criminal and student disciplinary action whenever possible.
We take the issue of sexual assault very seriously on our campus. Sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault, and it’s never tolerated at the University of South Carolina. There are numerous resources for students, faculty or staff who may be survivors, some of which are confidential for those who desire anonymity. We encourage anyone to report an incident, preferably to law enforcement but always to someone: USCPD, the Office of Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention, the Health Center, Equal Opportunity Programs, our Title IX office, or Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands.

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