A joint investigation of two sexual assaults led by the University Police Department (UPD) and the Town of New Paltz Police Department (NPPD) finally came to a close on Sunday Nov. 22 with the arrest of Brian Sanchez, 18, of the Bronx.
Following the two sexual assault reports after Halloween weekend, both police departments notified the campus and community of the attacks and their locations. One, on the northern side of campus, and the other on lower Main Street, were detailed along with a victim description of the perpetrator.
“The departments worked very well together,” UPD Deputy Police Chief Mary Ritayik said. “It was just making sure every “t” was crossed and every “i” was dotted.”
Sanchez surrendered easily when apprehended at his home in the Bronx, and was then transported to the UPD Station. After being interviewed regarding the incidents, he was arrested.
According to University Chief of Police David Dugatkin, Sanchez was charged by the UPD for the on campus attack with one count of first-degree sexual abuse, a felony. He was also additionally charged by the Town of NPPD for the attack in town with rape in the first-degree, criminal sexual act in the first-degree and unlawful imprisonment.
Although preventing such incidents is priority, these incidents can also educate the community of the reality of such situations.
“This can happen, New Paltz is not just a bubble. These are things that happen to people that live and work here too, and we must be aware of our personal safety,” Ritayik said.
Sanchez was remanded to the Ulster County jail where he is being held on $50,000 bail. Both police departments continue to work diligently on developing the case since the arrest.