AUSTIN (KXAN) — A former University of Texas student is being accused of committing indecent acts in residence hall rooms he burglarized.
The University of Texas Police Department filed charges against Rolando Benavides, 21, for burglary of a habitation and indecent assault after receiving an anonymous email reporting “possible burglaries with sexual deviant behavior at Jester Residence Hall.”
The email was sent to UTPD on April 13, and UTPD said it identified Benavides as the suspect within hours of getting the information.
Benavides lived at Jester Residence Hall himself, according to officers. He withdrew from the university and left campus the day he was interviewed by UTPD.
UTPD alleges Benavides entered three unoccupied dorm rooms and committed sexual acts with the victims’ property, then posted photos online. He also reportedly stole property.
At first, six victims were identified from the burglaries and indecent assaults, but more investigating led UTPD to identify two more victims from separate incidents.
UT released a statement to KXAN Thursday afternoon, saying in part, “The university has taken all available steps to further the campus community’s safety. The suspect has not been on campus since the day the UTPD investigation began, and the suspect subsequently withdrew from the university. Because of FERPA requirements and the ongoing law enforcement investigation, we cannot provide additional details at this time. The university is working with the affected students to provide support and accommodations. Finally, our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our campus community, and while the responsibility for any crime rests with the perpetrator, we remind people to lock their doors both when they are home and not home.”
Benavides is expected to turn himself in soon, according to UTPD. His mugshot and attorney information are not available yet.
UTPD said this is still an open investigation, and there could be more victims or crimes that have occurred. Police ask students in Jester Residence Hall who believe their items have been tampered with to call UTPD at (512) 471-4441 ext. 9 or email UTPD-IMD@austin.utexas.edu.
Additionally, UT said support is available for anyone affected by sexual assault, interpersonal violence (including domestic and dating violence), stalking, sexual harassment and sex discrimination by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.