Female assaulted at St. Anne's-Belfield

A woman reported to police that she was sexually assaulted while she and her male companion were held at gunpoint on the property of St. Anne's-Belfield School July 13.

The school is a private academy for students in pre-school through 12th grade. It is located on Ivy Road about 1 mile from the University.

The two victims were approached by a heavyset black male while sitting on the bleachers at one of the school's athletic fields, Charlottesville Police Detective Garland Mills said.

The suspect allegedly pulled out a handgun and ordered the male victim to lay face down on the ground. He then forced the female to perform oral sex on him while holding the gun to her head, police said.

The assault occurred around 12:30 a.m.

Neither of the victims is a University student, Mills said. He declined to disclose any additional information about the victims.

The victims were not physically injured but Mills said he is "sure there is a lot of emotional trauma."

Police said the suspect is about six feet tall with short hair and weighs about 240 pounds.

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    Charlottesville Police Sgt. Ron Willis said the police have not named any suspects.

    Lisa Speidel, training coordinator for the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, said gaining information about sexual assault is the best defense against an attack.

    Speidel, who is the coordinator for basic and advanced self-defense courses, said there is no single approach to take when confronted by an attacker.

    "People would like a list of 10 things to do if they are sexually assaulted, but every situation is different," Speidel said. "There is no 100 percent guarantee in preventing a sexual assault."

    She added that when a handgun is involved, compliance with the attacker often is the best option available in order for the victim to avoid further injury.

    The victims "did the best thing in their situation," Speidel said.

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