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7 sexual assaults reported in Cheney this semester

7 sexual assaults reported in Cheney this semester

One week ago, KXLY reported on two reports of sexual assault near Eastern Washington University's campus. Since then, Cheney police say they have received three other reports of sexual assaults that may involve EWU students.

Police say in one instance, a 17-year-old was assaulted at an apartment complex that houses many Eastern students.

We're told another reportedly happened on Friday evening, and the third apparently happened in early October but wasn't reported until recently.

The Cheney Police Department says there have been seven reported sexual assaults this semester.

The Eastern Police Department which deals with incidents on campus says they have arrested people for three sexual assaults this semester.

Both Eastern and Cheney Police say most of the assaults they deal with involve alcohol or drugs.

So, are there more cases of sexual assault, or are people doing a better job of reporting it?

It's a question both departments say is difficult to answer.

One Cheney Police captain told KXLY he believes there has been an increase in sexual assaults over the last few years.

EWU Police Deputy Chief Gary Gasseling says it is a difficult question to answer.

"Is it an increase?" he said, "I would say yes and no. We're having more reported, but down from last year, but through the educational piece that we do with the student affairs, the dean of students office...we're getting the word out there to the people that are involved in these assaults to come forward and tell us about them."

Eastern Washington University Police say the best thing parents can do is talk to their students openly about college parties and the risks of drinking.

EWU says the school actively encourage students to report assaults.

They have multiple programs on campus to educate students about sexual assault.
EWU's police department recently got an emotional support dog to help victims of traumatic situations, including sexual assault.