Police investigate assault claim near campus

The reported assault occurred at Paquin Tower in December.

The Columbia Police Department is looking into a report of sexual assault made last week at Paquin Tower, a housing facility located near MU’s campus.

A Columbia resident claimed that a man came into her apartment asking for a cigarette, and then proceeded to touch her inappropriately.

“When she turned around to get the cigarette, he touched her butt,” CPD spokeswoman Jill Wieneke said. “Basically she’s making allegations about the neighbor, saying inappropriate things to her and doing inappropriate things to her.”

The suspect, the victim’s neighbor, knocked on her door and solicited her, Wieneke said.

Paquin Tower is a 200-unit complex, designated for people with disabilities and the elderly, and is operated by the Columbia Housing Authority.

The event was originally reported in December, but the Columbia Housing Authority did not contact CPD until Jan. 16.

Due to difficulties getting in contact with the victim, CPD is still investigating the case.

“Sometimes it is kind of challenging dealing with victims at Paquin Tower,” Wieneke said. “They’re just very different. A lot of them have mental issues. They’re still having trouble contacting her.”

The investigation is ongoing, CPD is aware of the suspect and no arrests have been made.

A detective has been assigned to investigate the case. Although the case was originally reported as a sexual assault, Wieneke said she believes that, should the investigation continue, the suspect would not be charged with sexual assault.

Typically, officers who work for the Columbia Housing Authority deal with problems occurring within the building.

“It’s a system much like campus police,” Wieneke said. “We have an officer who was then contacted by the Columbia Housing Authority, notifying us they had received information of a possible sexual assault. They talked to the victim and made a report about it.”

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