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Victim's family upset with police handling of sexual assault case
Local residents are concerned about safety after a sexual assault in Hastings last weekend.
The case involves a 21-year-old Hastings woman, and according to the victim, a man in his thirties.
"I want answers. I want justice," a family member of the victim said. We are not using his name to protect the victim's identity.
The Hastings Police responded to the 1500 block of North Hastings Avenue around 5 a.m. last Saturday.
"A 21-year-old Hastings resident reported to us that she had been sexually assaulted," said Sgt. Bill Mann with the Hastings Police Department. "Officers took a report and a detective was called out."
Hastings Police said they can't release a lot of information, including whether drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor because the case is still under investigation.
"I'm glad that they are protecting the victim's identity and really going about it carefully, but I wish they would do it a little more aggressively," the victim's family member said, adding he still has concerns about the case.
"It takes a while to get rape charges or sexual assault charges filed, and to me I really think that's the wrong way to do it," the victim's family member added.
The case has caused an uproar on the News 5 Facebook page, with residents asking for more information.
"We just felt like in the last five or six days that nothing was really being done," the victim's family member said. "We felt like the next thing to do was take it online and get the word out there."
But, Mann said the information released must be kept to a minimum.
"We don't do that on any case whether it's a sexual assault or a theft or a burglary," Mann added. "Because things like that could possibly be detrimental to the investigation itself."
Still, the victim's family wants the process to move faster.
"I mean we're six days behind where we should be," the victim's family member said. "I feel like the time gap between then and now has really cost us."
Many of the comments on the News 5 Facebook page are concerns about safety in our community. The Hastings Police Department assures the public is safe.
"Everyone's safe," Mann said. "We have a suspect and the person of interest has been spoken to. So, there's no real danger than there would be any other day."
As of Friday, there was no arrest in the case. Mann said there is no time frame on when the case will be closed.
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