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Rape at Sheraton Hotel

On Sunday, February 10, 2002, at approximately 9:30 p.m., a 21-year-old woman enrolled in a program at Penn was sexually assaulted inside a hotel room at the Sheraton Hotel, 36th and Chestnut Streets, by a man with a gun.

The Division of Public Safety's Special Services Department is providing the woman with necessary support services. The Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victim's Unit is actively investigating the incident.

The assailant is described as a black male, 20-25 years old; 5'9"-5'10", with a thin build, medium complexion, and a thin beard. He was wearing a black ski cap, black hooded sweatshirt, black jacket with white markings, dark blue jeans, and yellow boots.

If you see a person matching the above description, do not approach. Contact the Penn Police by calling "511"on-campus, or (215) 573-3333 off-campus, or use the nearest blue light emergency phone.

Action Taken by the Division of Public Safety

  • Increased plainclothes and uniformed patrol inside and out at Sheraton
  • Had non-Penn affiliates moved off students' floor at Sheraton
  • Held two informational sessions with English Language Programs, Penn Women's Center, CAPS and Sheraton Security Administrators
  • Held security meeting at Sheraton to discuss technology and security guard operations

Action to be Taken

Special Services to increase safety presentations & Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) clinics; to schedule a RAD clinic, call (215) 898-4481.

Increased police and security patrols to continue.

Note:If you're a survivor of a sexual assault who decides not to notify Public Safety and/or the Philadelphia Police, please: Secure medical attention;

  • Contact the Penn Women's Center, (215) 898-8611 or
  • Counseling and Psychological Services, (215) 898-7021;
  • Talk personally with the Director of Special Services Department, (215) 898-6600.
  • Call the WOAR Hotline, (215) 985-3333.

--Division of Public Safety

Getting Help

Anyone who is the victim of a "Sensitive Crime" is encouraged to seek support and assistance, and to report the incident. An individual may contact the Special Services Unit by calling (215) 898-6600, 24-hours-a-day. A person may also call the Penn Police by using any of the 225 blue light phones located on and around the campus, by calling 511 through a University phone, or by dialing (215) 573-3333.

When a person contacts the Special Services and/or the Detective Unit, they will be advised of all of the medical, psychological, legal and support services available on and off campus. Additionally, the victim will be assisted in accessing these services. For a listing of services available see

--Division of Public Safety

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 23, February 19, 2002


February 19, 2002
Volume 48 Number 23

Penn has again proven to be the launching pad for presidents of colleges as two Penn people (Diver & Fry) are tapped for such posts where they will each be the 14th president come July 1.
GSE will have an acting dean in the fall while Dean Fuhrman will be on a scholarly leave.
The architecture department loses an award-winning long-time lecturer to cancer at the age of 51.
The Dental School opens a dental clinic specifically for children.
Phasing out the Wharton Evening School program which led to a bachelor of business administration brings changes and options.
The Government Affairs Update includes President Bush's budget proposal, Mayor Street's budge and Penn's Commonwealth Appropriations.
A description and composite sketch of the assailant who is wanted in connection with rape at the Sheraton Hotel as well as safety tips from Public Safety.
Penn Video Network and ISC now offer production and distribution services as well as streaming video and videoconferencing