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Student sexually assulted in Residence

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | September 8th, 2008

Two Fanshawe students arrested and put into police custody

Two Fanshawe students have been charged with allegedly sexually assaulting an 18-year-old girl in residence.

Brian Cooper, 19, and Joseph Lamanna, 21, are both charged with sexual assault. According to authorities, the alleged attack took place on September 2 in a common area at one of the residences on campus.

“This is a very disappointing time; normally a positive time on campus,” said Manager of Marketing and Communications Emily Marcoccia.

Two males entered the common area as the assault took place therefore causing the suspects to flee the room.

“Cooper and Lamanna were unknown to the victim. Both of the suspects are students of Fanshawe College but do not reside at the residence,” said Media Relations Constable Amy Phillipo.

Ed Pimentel, Manager of Security Services at Fanshawe College, said, “there is great security here at residence and we offer great security measures. There is a safety orientation provided for students at the residence when they move in.”

Currently, there are 40 cameras combined between the two residences to provide monitoring. Both R and S residences are access-controlled buildings where students have to use swipe cards to enter the premises; guests also have to be signed in at the front entrance and leave a form of identification.

Statistics Canada reports that women between the ages of 18-24 have a one in four chance of being sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

The victim, whose name is being withheld, remains concerned about her privacy here at Fanshawe College.

“The victim was not physically hurt during the incident,” advised Marcoccia.

The school is going to do everything in their power to help ensure the victim has a great support system intact.

College officials stressed that students at Fanshawe should not be in fear despite the September 2 incident.

According to Marcoccia, if procedures are followed properly with respect to safety, then the safety measures at the College should be intact.

Cooper and Lamanna have been suspended from Fanshawe pending the investigation.

Cooper has been released from custody with a set of unspecified conditions but does have a court hearing September 30.

Lamanna was waiting to be arraigned as of press time.
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