Police investigate sex assault near UT west campus

Police sent out the alert to students early Sunday that there was a sex assault near the University of Texas at Austin campus.

“I saw the notification via email. Usually, when we get emails like that it just says there was a sexual assault at this location and whether it is an ongoing threat or not,” UT student Mattie Vazquez said.

“Sadly it happens often. So I wasn't too surprised. The emails weren't very descriptive, they were just like hey there was a sexual assault,” UT student Ashli Watkins said.

Austin police said the assault happened early Sunday morning around 2 a.m. at 2500 Pearl Street, which registers as the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, however, police have not confirmed if the assault happened inside the home or just near it.

Vazquez is in a sorority and lives just down the street.

“I have a number of good friends who have been sexually assaulted during their time at college and just hearing that it's happening a block or two away from where I’m living is not really shocking to me, as horrible as it is,” said Vazquez.

Based on information from UT's Clery Report, there have been multiple sexual assaults off campus over the past three years, totaling eight. Students are hoping police can provide them more information and do more to protect and inform the UT community.

“I would like to see more action being taken. I don't see a lot of action being taken nor follow-ups about what happened to the person, if they get caught, etc.,” said Watkins.

The University of Texas sent this statement regarding the incident:

"We are currently focused on the welfare of our campus community. During difficult situations, UT's student emergency services provides students with support including referrals to relevant campus and community resources.
We are currently in the fact-finding stage. Any policy violations will be referred to the appropriate university office for investigation."