Semester Begins with Report of Sexual Assault

A 19-year-old female Ramapo College student was allegedly sexually assaulted by another student on Sept. 1 in the Overlook residence hall, according to police.

The alleged incident occurred at approximately 1:15 a.m., according to the police report. The woman told Mahwah Police that she had met the alleged assailant earlier that evening. The woman, who declined to file a complaint, was transported to The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood and was interviewed by a Mahwah Detective and a member of the sex crime unit of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

The college also sent a warning to students informing them of the alleged assault.

Following the warning, Ramapo President Peter Mercer sent an email to the college community, addressing the alleged incident. 

“It saddens and angers me that today we had to share information about a sexual assault reported earlier this morning,” the email read.

Mercer’s email reminded students of Ramapo’s recent efforts to combat sexual assault, including the implementation of the “Ramapo: Advance” plan and the Green Dot bystander intervention training program that was required of students as a part of Welcome Week.

“We are thankful that the friends of last night’s victim came forward and, following those Green Dot protocols, sought help on her behalf,” Mercer wrote.

Mahwah Police said in their report that the victim has “decided not to pursue the matter through the criminal justice system.”

The alleged assailant, however, has faced consequences from the College, including removal from campus pending further action.

In a separate interview about the “Ramapo: Advance” plan Mercer stated, “I was glad that it had been reported because that’s the only way we can deal with the problem effectively.”

“Obviously, we’ve had incidents occur,” he continued. “If … we improve our reporting mechanisms, we’re going to see more, and that’s probably a good thing, because it’s not that there’s going to be an increase in incidences, it’s just there’s going to be an increased reporting.”