NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Old Dominion University Police have charged a security guard in the investigation of a student’s alleged sexual assault off campus.
Michael Spearman, 29, of Norfolk was arrested Sunday and charged with one count rape and two counts forcible sodomy, according to ODU spokeswoman Giovanna Genard.
ODU Police say the sexual assault was reported to have happened Saturday around 1:30 a.m. in a privately-owned apartment complex on 38th Street called The District. At the time of the assault, the accused was allegedly on duty at the apartment complex as a private security guard, employed by United American Security.
Spearman is being held in the Norfolk City Jail without bond. He will appear in Norfolk General District Court on April 14 at 9 a.m.
Genard said the student was a female who lived in The District. And other students who live there told 10 On Your Side the apartment complex goes to great lengths to make them feel safe.
“The security guards are usually out here all the time, especially at night and on the weekends,” said student Shenasia Newsome. “Everything is locked. The doors on the side are locked. No one can get in, so I usually feel pretty safe.”
But, since the news of the sexual assault, some students are second guessing that sense of safety.
“It is kind of scary that someone with so much power could do something like that to somebody,” Newsome said.
“I pass security guards all the time when I come home from work,” said student Rashadia Hill. “I work at a restaurant, and I come home at 12:30 in the morning. That’s really scary for a security guard to assault someone.”
Some students say they will now be more watchful in a place where they once felt so secure.
“I’ll definitely be more cautious, even inside The District where I thought I would be safe,” said student Parag Baral.
10 On Your Side also spoke to the management at The District, who issued statement the following statement:
The District has been made aware of a situation. This matter has been reported to law enforcement who are investigating. It is our understanding that an arrest has already been made. We are fully cooperating and assisting law enforcement. Out of respect and to avoid any interference with the investigation, we are making no further comment at this time.
If you have any information that might help the investigation, please contact Old Dominion University Police at 757-683-4000.