Ten days ago Melissa Bruen, editor in chief of the University of Connecticut Daily Campus, was sexually assaulted by two men on a campus walking path while others cheered. Last Friday she described the assault in a powerful front-page story in her own newspaper.
Bruen was grabbed on a well-lit campus path late on the night of April 25, during the U Conn Spring Weekend. She managed to get loose and knock her assailant to the ground, but as she punched him, a crowd of men gathered. Several of them restrained her, allowing him to escape.
When she told them that he had assaulted her, a man in the crowd asked “you think that was assault?” and pulled down her top. Other men then cheered as he grabbed her breasts. When she fought back again, she was quickly surrounded. Bruised and screaming, she was eventually able to break away a second time, and to find a friend who helped her notify police.
The assault on Bruen was one of three acts of sexual violence reported on the U Conn campus that weekend. Fifty-one arrests were made during Spring Weekend this year, but none of her assailants were among them. Bruen was able to give police descriptions of the attackers, but due to the large number of students on the walk at the time, the police were unable to identify them.
Bruen, a senior, will graduate from U Conn this Sunday.
Update: I have revised the above post to provide more detail on the two assaults. The Hartford Courant has run a story on the incident, which can be found here. Police are asking that any witnesses to the assaults contact them at (860) 429-6024.
Later Update: I have written a follow-up post on this subject, addressing the abuse to which Bruen has been subjected in web comments to her Daily Campus piece.