Sexual assault reported at Winthrop University dorm in Rock Hill, campus police say

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 9:40 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:16 AM EST
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - The police department at a college in Rock Hill, South Carolina, is investigating a sexual assault that was reported last week in a dorm, officials said.

The assault is reported to have happened Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m. in the Phelps Hall dorm of Winthrop University, according to a Winthrop Police Department incident report and campus alerts emailed to students and staff.

No arrests have been made, and the assault remains under investigation, officials said Monday.

Sexual assault reported at Winthrop University dorm in Rock Hill, campus police say
Sexual assault reported at Winthrop University dorm in Rock Hill, campus police say(Winthrop University)

The Herald obtained alerts sent by Winthrop police on Thursday and Sunday.

The alert sent Sunday said the person under investigation doesn’t have ties to the college.

“At this time, we do not believe the individual and her assailant knew each other,” Charles Yearta, Winthrop Police Department interim chief, wrote in the email. “Through the investigation, we do not believe the suspect is affiliated with Winthrop University.”

The college is located inside the Rock Hill city limits in York County.

The school has its own police department that received the report and is investigating, Yearta said in a message to The Herald.


In the email alerts, Winthrop police described the suspect as a male in his early 20s, around 6 feet tall.

He has short brown hair, blue eyes and light facial hair, Winthrop police said.

At the time of the incident, he was wearing a Carolina Panthers jacket or sweatshirt, baseball cap, dark pants and black sneakers, police said.

Yearta said campus police have maintained jurisdiction of the case.

Winthrop has requested assistance in identifying the subject and other resources from the Rock Hill Police Department, York County Sheriff’s Office, and State Law Enforcement Division, Yearta told The Herald. Thanksgiving break starts Wednesday at Winthrop and runs through the weekend, according to the school’s website.

In the campus alerts, police urged students and staff to practice safety measures on campus.

The college also has a LIVE SAFE app where students and staff can report criminal activity. Winthrop University had an enrollment of about 6,000 students in 2019-20, before the pandemic, according to the school.

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