Student charged in UW-L sexual assault case
Man denies allegation
LA CROSSE, Wis. — A 19-year-old UW-La Crosse student has been charged with second degree sexual assault that allegedly happened in the stairwell at Sanford Residence Hall about 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 4.
According to the criminal complaint, Samuel Bowne Temple followed the victim into the residence hall after she used her key card, and sexually assaulted her in the stairwell.
The victim told authorities her boyfriend escorted her from his residence hall to hers after the Green Bay Packers game. The complaint states that when the victim said goodnight to him at the front door of Sanford Hall, he left. The victim said there appeared to be two to three people in the general area of the front door, including the man who was later identified as the suspect in this case.
The victim said she recognized Temple from a group in the first days of school. The complaint states he followed her into the building and when she proceeded up the stairwell, he walked up the stairs behind her. Temple attempted to kiss her and then sexually assaulted her, the complaint states.
A sexual abuse nurse examiner told authorities the victim suffered a bruised cervix, which is not common with normal intercourse.
Temple told police he followed her into the residence hall and walked up the stairs with her, but repeatedly denied having sexual intercourse with her. The complaint states Temple advised that he was 100 percent sure he did not have any type of sex with her.
Back in July, a national survey that polled 440 universities and colleges found more than 40 percent of the schools have not conducted a single assault investigation in five years. However, that is not the case in our area.
In our area already this school year, the alleged assault at UW-La Crosse is not the first to be reported. Just a few weeks ago, police investigated three separate assaults on women near the Winona State Campus.
Although local colleges have been working on educational and preventive measures for years, research shows the first several weeks of a new school year are the most vulnerable for students.
About two weeks ago, incoming freshman Credence moved into the dorms at UW-La Crosse.
“It was really busy. It was exciting though,” said Credence.
Like many new students, this is Credence’s first time living on her own.
“We had to get up pretty early to move in but it is all exciting,” said Credence.
But only a few weeks into the school year, research shows new students are more susceptible to sexual violence on campus.
“Students coming in at age 18, who haven’t been exposed and haven’t had the same type of living situations, are looking very much to fit in and that fitting in includes doing what others want you to do, that is a vulnerable time in their lives,” said Paula Knudson, dean of students at UW-La Crosse.
During the first six weeks of college, sexual violence is more likely to happen on campuses.
“Studies show that one in four or one in five women, and one in 12 young men often early in their college years may experience sexual trauma or sexual violence, and that on a national level is outrageous and outlandish and we have to do better,” said Knudson.
In an effort to do better, incoming freshmen at UW-L are immediately exposed to a number of safety measures taken on campus.
“We had a whole orientation thing for it. There are places you can call if you don’t feel safe. There’s police to escort you if you don’t feel comfortable walking by yourself,” said Credence.
Plus, for the first time, all incoming freshmen are required to take an online survey.
“We had to take it, it took me about three hours to complete, It was on sexual violence, drinking violence, like, all that sort of stuff, so you had to do that and complete that,” said Credence.
College is a time to study, explore and find yourself and Knudson wants to make sure all students have that chance.
“I would never want to blame the individuals who are trying to fit in, I want to take a look at those predators and say this is wrong, you are violating, you are going to be held accountable and it is unacceptable,” said Knudson.
In an email to faculty, staff and students on Wednesday, Knudson said the alleged perpetrator, Temple, is no longer a student at UW-L and has been banned from the campus.
If Temple is convicted, he could face up to 40 years behind bars and a fine up to $100,000 or both.
On average, UW-La Crosse investigates between 20 and 25 reports of sexual assaults every year.