St. Pete PD investigating sexual assault at Eckerd College

Witnesses pulled attacker off 'helpless' victim
Posted at 3:38 PM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2020-03-13 22:39:35-04

St. Petersburg police are crediting a group of witnesses for breaking up a sexual assault on a college campus. 

Police arrested Alexander Dutton, 18, for sexual battery Sunday. 

According to the report, on October 29, Dutton followed the 20-year-old victim into a private bathroom at Eckerd College. 

Dutton is not a student at the school and police say did not know the victim prior to the assault. 

Police say Dutton pushed the victim against the wall, forcing the victim to have sex with him. 

Investigators say the victim was physically helpless to stop the attack. 

Those witnesses became concerned for the victim and tracked her down in the bathroom. Police say quickly jumped in to pull Dutton off the victim. 

"The witnesses reported that the victim was helpless, completely helpless and they pretty much busted into the bathroom and found the suspect on top of the victim and literally pulled him off," said Sandra Bentil with the St. Petersburg Police Department. 

Dutton, who is from Winter Garden, is in jail on a $100,000 bond. 

School officials sent the following message the next day through the Eckerd College Emergency Notification System:

In accordance with the “Timely Notice” provisions of the Federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998, the Eckerd College Safety and Security Office is giving notice of the following incident:

The Eckerd College Title IX Coordinator received a report of non-consensual sexual intercourse that occurred during the early morning hours of Sunday, October 29, 2017. The offense occurred at the Nu Complex.

Witnesses have provided the following information regarding a description of the alleged assailant who gave the name “Alex”: white male, approximately 5’8”-5’10”, college-aged, thin frame, skinny face, large nose, slightly tanned, brown hair that is short on sides and longer down the middle, and wearing a white undershirt with a dark blue patterned button-front shirt over it and skinny pants.

Campus Safety is currently conducting an investigation with the Title IX Office. Staff is interviewing all individuals who may have knowledge of the incident. All photos from the night of October 28 to the morning of October 29 that were taken in the suite areas of Nu Complex should be shared with Campus Safety.