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University of Iowa News Release

 

Sept. 24, 2007

City, county and university host public meeting on safe streets Sept. 26

The City of Iowa City, the University of Iowa and the Johnson County Attorney's Office will host a public meeting to address the increase in assaults on women in the Iowa City area over the past year. The meeting will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St. in downtown Iowa City.

City and university officials will share what they're doing to address the attacks, clarify how citizens can assist in creating a safer community and provide an opportunity for increased public dialogue about the challenges the community is facing.

Panel members will include Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine; Assistant Vice President and Director of University of Iowa Police Charles Green; Iowa City Council Member Amy Correia; and University of Iowa Student Government Vice President Carole Peterson. Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness will moderate the public meeting.

Since August 2006, there have been 35 reports of assaults or "forcible fondlings," against women in Iowa City, according to Green.

"Many confuse the terms rape and sexual assault," Green said. "With the exception of the latest report of stranger rape, what has been occurring, that has caught the public's attention, is best described as assaults with intent to commit sexual abuse. This includes groping, grabbing, attempts to remove clothing and then fleeing."

Police are seeking several suspects in connection with the assaults, including one man who fits the description given by a majority of the victims. Many of the victims are UI students. Composite drawings of two suspects are available on the Iowa City Police Department Web site at http://www.icgov.org/police/.

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000

MEDIA CONTACTS: Monique DiCarlo, Women's Resource and Action Center, 335-1486 (office), 319-430-6992 (cell); Amy Correia, Iowa City City Council, 319-321-8853; Linda Kettner, University News Services, 319-384-0030 (office), 319-621-7945 (cell) or linda-kettner@uiowa.edu.