Police, students respond to sexual harassment in Meriam Library


Julian Mendoza

Students and UPD respond and react to the sexual harassment that occurred in Meriam Library.

The University Police Department is currently requesting charges and building a case against the suspect that was allegedly involved in a sexual harassment incident that occured on Feb. 14 at the Meriam Library. 

During the incident, a student reported to the library that there was an adult male touching his groin area while staring at her during her study time. She reported the harassment to the library staff and after making sure she was secure and safe, they made a phone call to UPD. Officers arrived at the scene but by the time they got there the suspect had allegedly left the campus. 

“We generated a police report after the incident and gave the victim resources and services based on what she went through,” Commander Christopher Nicodemus said. 

“We were able to identify the suspect as D’angelo Lynch, a subject that is transient to our community, after reviewing the security footage and circulating the photo around,” Nicodemus said.

UPD received another call on Feb. 17 at approximately 9:42 a.m. from the library manager explaining that the suspect was back on campus. Officers arrived at the location of the suspect and obtained a statement from him regarding the incident before being asked to leave campus and not return again. 

“As of right now, we have requested criminal charges against Mr. Lynch to the Butte County District Attorney’s office,” Nicodemus said. “He was uncooperative with us when we were receiving his statement. It was apparent that the suspect was having mental health issues.”

After hearing about the incident that occured in Meriam Library, students became more aware and felt less safe in the area.

“After reading what happened, when I would go into the library after, now I just really pay attention to who is around me,” student Natalie Alvarez said.

“It really made me uncomfortable knowing that these types of people can just come onto campus without warning and do these things,” Alvarez said. “It really makes me wonder what other situations of this type are occurring around us similar to this.”

Nicodemus explained that when it comes to where the line is drawn on who is allowed on campus, it depends on the situation that occurs.

“That’s the hardest part, on where to draw the line,” Nicodemus said. “It’s truly a case-by-case situation. Like this case, this suspect was crossing the line. This is something we do not allow on campus and we need to hold him accountable for.”

The district attorney’s office has been contacted with the report and is pending approval for the arrest of Lynch.

Angelina Mendez can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @theorion_angie