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Three rapes reported at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in nine days [Updated]

May 18, 2011 | 10:59 am

Joseph Trupiano. Click to enlarge. Three female Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students were raped in separate incidents that were reported within nine days, and college officials say excessive drinking was involved in each.

[Updated at 4:50 p.m.: All of the women were reported to have been intoxicated and unconscious at the time of the assaults. The rapes are described by police as unrelated crimes, each committed by a different man.]

Two occurred in Poly Canyon Village, a campus dormitory, and one in Sigma Phi Epsilon, an off-campus fraternity house.

A Cal Poly student, Joseph Trupiano, has been arrested in the fraternity rape.

[Updated at 4:50 p.m.: Two men are being sought in connection with the other rapes. Bill Walton, the university's police chief, declined to give further details in an interview Wednesday.

"One thing everyone has to realize is that sexual assaults occur more frequently than they're reported," he said. "For whatever reason, these were reported quickly."]

In a note to Cal Poly parents, Jeffrey D. Armstrong, the university’s president, said he wanted to “make sure that victims of sexual assault feel safe enough to bring these incidents to our attention so that they can be properly investigated.”

“At the same time,” he said, “I am urging everyone not to rush to judgment about any of the individuals involved until the facts are known.”

Armstrong said a campus task force will review the school’s programs on sexual violence and substance abuse.

He told parents that “anything you can say or do to encourage your student to be smarter about alcohol and -- if they are of age -- to drink responsibly would be appreciated.

"Anything you can say or do to help your student be more aware of the danger of sexual assault also would be appreciated,” Armstrong said.


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Photo: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Joseph Trupiano has been arrested on suspicion of rape at an off-campus fraternity house.