3 sex assaults reported at Greek Theatre’s Mad Decent Block Party on Saturday

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Heather Feibleman/Staff

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Despite a significant increase in private staff and UCPD presence at a Greek Theatre music festival Saturday, three sexual assaults from that night were reported to UCPD.

All three victims were female and two were UC Berkeley students, according to three UCPD Clery crime alerts that were sent to the campus community Monday. The sexual assaults were reported to have occurred during the sold-out, 18-and-over Mad Decent Block Party music event, which describes itself as “America’s biggest block party” on social media.

Private staff was increased by 50 percent and UCPD presence was increased by 100 percent compared to typical Greek Theatre events, according to Sherry Wasserman, president of Another Planet Entertainment, which promotes concerts for the Greek Theatre. The festival was almost filled to its 8,500 person capacity, said UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich.

“It becomes a challenging environment for officers and security staff,” Reich said.

The second crime alert states that one of the assaults allegedly occurred after an 18-year-old female UC Berkeley student was in line at a restroom about 8 p.m. and the suspect — described as a white male with brown hair and blue eyes — took her to an unknown location within the venue.

The suspect described by the first crime alert is a 21-year-old Hispanic male about 5 feet 7 inches in height and the third crime alert did not provide a suspect description.

“No one reported these incidences at the event to either the police or Greek Theatre staff (at the time),” Wasserman said in an email. “We were only made aware of this after the event and (in) the following days by the Clery Timely Warning media reports issued by UCPD.”

UCPD is currently unable to release any additional information on the crimes as they continue to investigate, according to Reich.

“We’re obviously very concerned about what happened,” Reich said in an email. “We take these crimes seriously and we care about the safety of our campus community members and visitors. We are asking the public to contact us if they know anything about these sexual assaults.”

ASUC Senator Marandah Field-Elliot plans on hosting a speak-out on Sproul Plaza this Thursday at 12 p.m., in response to recent campus sexual harassment cases and in order to raise awareness about sexual consent as a whole. She is also planning to develop a sexual violence reporting and training program for the residence halls.

“This was a particularly horrific weekend but these types of cases happen all the time which is why we need to raise awareness,” Field-Elliot said.

Field-Elliot added that she hopes to help change the culture surrounding these cases and help support survivors of sexual violence.

Contact Semira Sherief and Edward Booth at [email protected].

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled the last name of ASUC senator Marandah Field-Elliot on second reference.