SBU student attacked on trail - Word&Way

SBU student attacked on trail

Bolivar — A 21-year-old Southwest Baptist University student was hospitalized in Springfield after being attacked and raped on the Greenways Frisco Highline walking trail in Bolivar on May 4. She was released on May 12.

Daniel Pilkinton Jr., 17, of Bolivar has been charged with first-degree assault and forcible rape. He remains in Polk County Jail.

According to reports in the Bolivar Free Press, Pilkinton allegedly hit the student in the face with a rock, breaking her jaw. He also allegedly broke her neck by twisting it, then sexually assaulted her.

The newspaper reported that a woman in a nearby residence heard the student cry out and called an ambulance.

Police arrested Pilkinton about 45 minutes after the attack. According to news reports, witnesses on the trail identified him. The student identified him from a photo lineup at the hospital.

SBU spokesperson Tamera Heitz-Peek said the university provided counselors for students after the incident and during a May 5 student forum about the attack.

An open forum was held May 12 to discuss developing a program on sexual assault awareness, prevention and self-defense. Former SBU basketball coach and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Lynn Nance provided a 15-20-minute safety presentation. The program is to be implemented in the fall.

Commerce Bank in Bolivar has established a fund to help the family defray medical expenses. Individuals who wish may send donations to Commerce Bank, 2370 S. Springfield, Bolivar, MO 65613. Contributions also may be sent to the university. Contributions should be clearly marked "SBU Student Victim Fund." (05-12-05)