2 NYU students report sexual assault in Washington Square Park

NYU’s Department of Campus Safety published an alert in response to two separate incidents on Monday evening.


Manasa Gudavalli

File photo: A person reads in Washington Square Park, in September 2020. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Arnav Binaykia, Editor-in-Chief

Two students reported that they were groped near NYU’s Washington Square campus on Monday evening, according to an incident alert from NYU’s Department of Campus Safety.

The first incident occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m., when an unknown attacker came up to a student who was walking through Washington Square Park and grabbed their butt. Ten minutes later, another student was grabbed on the thigh. Both incidents were reported to Campus Safety, though only the second student chose to file a police report. The attacker has not yet been identified.

Both victims gave similar descriptions of the person who attacked them, though Campus Safety did not specify whether it believed both incidents to be linked to a single perpetrator.

Like other higher education institutions in the United States, NYU is required to alert its community to significant security-related incidents on or near its campus in order to comply with the requirements of the Clery Act — a federal statute requiring colleges and universities to collect and report crime statistics for incidents which occur within campus boundaries. The latest annual security report published by the university, with data from 2020, shows that nine incidents of groping were recorded in that year.

However, many incidents involving students near campus are not accounted for in the report, as the only off-campus locations included are streets, sidewalks and public areas adjacent to NYU facilities. During a three-week period in August and September 2021, four NYU students were groped in separate incidents by a single assailant who was later arrested. Although NYU sent safety alerts for those assaults, only two of the four appear in the university’s crime logs for those months.

Contact Arnav Binaykia at [email protected].