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Editor's note: This case was dismissed in January 2010 by the 6th District Court in Providence. The man was not found guilty of any of the three charges, and his name has been removed from the article.

A man arrested for trespassing on campus last Thursday is connected to similar incidents involving intrusions that occurred during the spring semester, according to the Providence Police Department. The suspect is thought to be the same man who photographed a female student showering in the first-floor Diman House bathroom in March and may be the unidentified suspect who later assaulted a female student in a Sears House shower in April.

The suspect, a 20-year old Woonsocket resident, was arrested after a Brown facilities manager reported suspicious activity in Goddard House. He was then detained in Andrews Hall by Department of Public Safety Officer Paul Ruscito.

"It was an excellent arrest by the police officers and also an outstanding job by the few custodial workers in identifying the suspect," said Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety Mark Porter. "We were alerted of an individual that matched the description of previous incidents."

After the assault in Sears, Porter told The Herald that the two incidents were "not related," but he added that a joint investigation between DPS and the PPD regarding a number of similar incidents was "ongoing."

Now, however, Porter confirmed that further investigation has led the departments to believe that at least some, if not all, of the trespassing incidents involve the suspect arrested Thursday. Porter would not elaborate on the other incidents.

"He is connected with several incidents," Porter said. The man "certainly matched the description of the suspect that we've been aggressively looking for," he added. Porter also confirmed that the man was "definitely responsible and connected to the incident in Diman House," though he would not elaborate on the suspect's connection to the assault in Sears.

The PPD and DPS are focusing on at least one other suspect who is responsible for similar incidents in Brown dormitories, Porter said, though he would confirm only that there was one suspect in custody at this time.

"DPS and PPD are working on this investigation and looking at similar complaints in the past few months," Porter said. "We are following all the investigative leads."

In April, an unidentified male holding a knife assaulted a female student in Sears — home to the Alpha Chi Omega sorority — following a similar "peeping Tom" incident in March when an unidentified male photographed a female student in Diman, home to the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority.

In an e-mail to students after the second incident, the suspect was described as "a male with a light complexion; possibly white or Hispanic approximately five feet six inches tall, lean build, dark hair, cut short, with a week's worth of facial-hair growth."

Unlike the Sears assault, which involved a weapon, Porter said the other incidents involved intruders either taking pictures in restrooms or acting suspiciously.

According to the Providence Police report filed in District Court on Friday, the suspect said he had entered Brown dormitories at least three times previously, claiming that he was working for a utility company. He said he followed students into the dormitories if others did not initially allow him to enter.

Though Maj. Thomas Oates of the PPD told the Providence Journal that the suspect was employed by a utilities company, he said the utilities company the suspect claimed he worked for was not subcontracted to work at Brown.

The man was charged on Friday with willful trespass, disorderly conduct and impersonating a public utilities employee. The charges are all misdemeanors.

Porter said Brown and DPS are promoting an active role in community security to prevent similar incidents on campus by encouraging community cooperation.

"We feel we are doing a lot of right things to prevent further incidents," he said.


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