2 females sexually battered in UC Berkeley residence hall, police say

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Update 3/5/15: Charges against Vincent Melika were never filed. This article has been updated to reflect that fact.

Police have arrested a UC Berkeley student on suspicion of sexually battering two women in a campus residence hall last week.

At about 11:55 p.m., Aug. 30, an intoxicated male resident inappropriately grabbed a female victim in the lobby of Putnam Hall at campus Unit 1, according to a UCPD crime alert released Thursday.

The female pushed the male away, and he entered an elevator. The same male then pinned a second female against a wall on an upper floor and kissed and groped her against her will, the alert states. Residents of the floor where the second incident occurred pulled the male off of the second female, and the male left, according to the alert.

Police later arrested 18-year-old UC Berkeley student Vincent Melika on suspicion of sexual battery, according to the alert.

Melika was not subsequently charged due to insufficient evidence, according to Rebecca Richardson, a spokesperson for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

Neither female was physically injured during the incidents.

Some of the residents of the building, including students who lived on the same floor as Melika, said they had not received any notice about the incident as of Thursday afternoon. Jane Maguire, a UC Berkeley freshman who lives on the sixth floor, said she had not heard about it at all.

“(It’s) incredible that they didn’t say anything,” Maguire said. “We didn’t have a meeting about it.”

Marty Takimoto, director of marketing communications for campus Residential Services, said that in situations where there might be an ongoing danger or threat, communications are sent out to all residents about the incident. He added that residence hall staff is now working with the campus Gender Equity Resource Center on educational programming for residents.

While the investigation continues, Melika was moved to another housing location where he will reside, according to Takimoto.

Campus General Residential Conduct Policies state that a student may face disciplinary action for sexual offenses of any nature.

Chloe Hunt is the lead crime reporter. Contact her at [email protected].
Sarah Burns contributed to this story. She is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected].

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the described incidents began at around 11:55 p.m. Aug 31 due to an error in the above mentioned crime alert. In fact, they began at around 11:55 p.m. Aug 30.