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Man detained after sexually harassing ASU board

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

The ASU called the Valley College Sheriff’s Department after a man shouted vulgar comments at members of the board.

By Natalie Metcalf, Valley Life Editor

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Rodriguez detains a man who sexually harassed members of the Associated Student Union as they sat outside eating lunch near the Monarch Student Store in between meetings held during the afternoon in the Skybox Conference Room. (Jeremy Ruiz | Valley Star)

A man verbally abused five members of the ASU’s executive council committee on Tuesday, causing the board to postpone their second meeting. The perpetrator was detained within three minutes of the incident.

“That’s not something you play around with, once he said those specific words I was like, 'no that's not right’,” said Sarai Oritz, the commissioner of publicity and social media, after the incident. “I immediately called the sheriffs through the LAVC Safe App. I need to take action now, that’s not something you play around with –– this is very serious for me.”

After their first meeting –– the finance committee –– ended early, the five members decided to buy lunch at the campus bookstore. In the Student Union plaza, the man was holding a laptop, albeit the screen was not visible, pointing at the student union board and laughing. The man went to the restroom, came back to the group and yelled sexually intrusive comments.

The perpetrator left to use the restroom twice during the encounter. While sitting down at the cafeteria tables, the suspect unwantedly tagged along in their innocent laughter and continued to make vulgar comments.

During the suspect’s second bathroom break, Ortiz called the sheriffs through the safe app. The commissioner kept an eye on him and later stated she was thankful to be in a group with her fellow peers. Shortly after the call, the deputy detained the man.

After the sexual verbal abuse, more than half of the executive board gave a full report to Deputy Rodriguez.

“I distributed his information to my coworkers,” said Rodriguez. “We don’t want him back on campus.”

After the man was detained, the sheriff drove him to the Metro bus station on Burbank and Fulton. Rodriguez told the harasser he was not allowed back on Valley’s campus. The perpetrator was also in possession of marijuana, but was detained for “disturbing the peace.” The official police report is yet to be made.

During the meeting, the incident was not discussed. Instead, the board carried on the best they could in order to pass motions related to upcoming student events.

Members of the board present in the incident were Commissioner of Fine Arts Mia Sanchez, Commissioner of Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Erick Portillo, ASU President Ani Ramazyan, Commissioner of Publicity, Ortiz and Commissioner of Student Life Arely Aguilar.

The board allocated $1,199.96 to a Denim Day event. The workshop will take place on April 26 and was created by Astghik Margaryan from the Ignite Club and Women’s Empowerment Club. Denim Day was founded in 1999 and spreads sexual assault awareness.

The Valley Safe App can be used to contact the Sheriff's Department in case of an emergency. If the app is unavailable, Monarchs can reach the deputies at (818) 947-2911.


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