BREAKING: Student arrested for rape on Colonial Quad
University Police Department arrested student Mohammed Sanogo on Wednesday following a reported rape on Colonial Quad last week, highlighting another of the University at Albany’s controversial decisions to not alert the campus to violent crimes.
Sanogo, a 19-year-old student at UAlbany, was arrested and charged with third-degree rape, a Class E felony charge in New York, on Nov. 14 for an incident that allegedly occurred on Nov. 8.
The incident was first reported last Thursday through an incident log sent to those who subscribe to daily updates from UPD. The report indicated that the victim was taken to a medical facility, and that the report was received around midnight last Wednesday from Colonial Quad’s Livingston Tower.
UPD chose then not to issue a “Timely Warning,” a blast email to the whole campus which federal education law mandates if an incident poses a threat to the community.
Deputy Chief Aran Mull said Thursday that the incident didn’t pose an immediate threat, and that the Act does not require disclosures that may disrupt investigations.
“Sending a notice had a significant likelihood of causing further damage to the victim and impairing the ongoing investigation,” Mull said in an email.
UPD, working in tandem with university administrators, claims an ability to use discretion when issuing Timely Warnings. This discretion is a subject of fierce criticism from members of the local police union, who last spring characterized UPD command staff as overly concerned with protecting the university’s image.
Mull said details like suspect identity, suspect background, presence of violence, and premeditation play key roles in the decision making process to issue Timely Warnings.
He provided that the incident occurred about an hour before the report was submitted to university police.
Until the ASP contacted UPD, the initial rape report from last Thursday could not be found on UPD’s web page crime log, which is accessible by the general public.
Multiple checks by the ASP turned up no record of the rape. The morning after sending questions to Deputy Chief Mull, the initial rape appeared on the website.
“The system is automated and the incident should have been up on the web within 48 hours of the report,” said Mull, who said he was not sure why the ASP couldn’t find an online record previously.
The report of Mohammed Sanogo’s arrest was posted to their website Thursday morning, which Mull said is in line with the usual timeline for arrests.
This is a breaking story. Check back to this page later for updates.