Bulletin board ad leads to rape
UH officials warn students after a woman answering a call for art models is assaulted
University of Hawaii officials are warning students to use "extreme caution" when answering bulletin board ads after a 19-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted by a man who had advertised on campus for art models.
It's the latest in a string of sexual assaults involving students or taking place near the UH-Manoa campus.
Officials said the UH student answered the ad and met with the 40-year-old suspect at a restaurant near the Manoa campus on Oct. 13. She was convinced to accompany him to his home at 1551 Kalakaua Ave., where she was assaulted.
The suspect was arrested on Oct. 19 on two counts of second-degree sex assault and has since been released. UH spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka said the man is an Outreach College student who was taking one non-credit course.
On Aug. 29, he was banned from the Manoa campus after campus security guards saw him tearing ads off Sinclair Library bulletin boards at about 12:30 a.m. Officials said the suspect refused to identify himself and was given a trespass warning.
The ads that the suspect allegedly posted sought women ages 18 to 32. They were stapled to at least three bulletin boards on campus, Tanaka said.
In a "crime alert" issued Thursday, UH security officials told students to "use extreme caution should you choose to respond to an ad placed on a bulletin board."
The alert also said UH-Manoa bulletin boards are considered "free speech" areas "and therefore not controlled as to what is placed on them."
The incident comes as women's rights advocates are pushing the university to crack down on sexual assaults against students. Just two months ago, interim President David McClain declared the institution's 10 campuses "rape-free zones."
Kathy Xian, spokeswoman for the Rape-Free Coalition, said she can understand how it would be difficult for the university to regulate bulletin board ads.
"But what the university can do is a lot more training for student orientation," she said, adding that her group is working with UH officials to get sexual assault education in next year's freshman orientation schedule.
The coalition was formed earlier this year after a string of rapes happened near the university's Manoa campus.
On March 12, an 85-year-old woman was raped in her Old Waialae Road apartment.
A week later, a 38-year-old woman's car was hijacked, and she was raped near the Manoa Innovation Center on Woodlawn Drive.
And on March 28, a Kapiolani Community College student told police she was abducted near University Avenue and gang-raped. The 18-year-old was then dropped off at a dormitory on the UH-Manoa campus.
Police arrested and charged two separate suspects for the first two incidents at Old Waialae Road and Woodlawn drive.
No suspects have been arrested in the University Avenue gang rape.