The Cavalier Daily
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Violent crime shocks community, prompts calls

Days after the University and a group of parents put up a $10,000 reward to help catch the man who raped a University student in her home last Thursday, police are answering calls from people responding with information about the case.

However, only about 10 to 15 percent of the people calling police with tips are interested in the reward money, said Richard Hudson, a Charlottesville Police detective who answers phones at the Crimestoppers hotline.

The shocking nature of such a crime naturally generates a lot of interest - and a lot of calls, Hudson said.

"I've been doing this for 17 years and I've seen a lot of sexual assaults," he said. "This one was definitely unique and not like one I'd ever seen before."

Rapes have occurred at the University before, including one that took place near Beta Bridge last year, but the University never supplied reward money to catch a criminal until now.

But the University's offer of a reward in this case does not set a precedent. In the future, it will be decided on a case-by-case basis, said Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice-president and chief financial officer.

"This was a particularly despicable crime. I do not recall another case where the criminal broke into a private residence, raped an individual in the presence of others and used a gun," Sandridge said.