Man arrested for attempted rape after breaking into WSU sorority house

Man arrested for attempted rape after breaking into WSU sorority house
PULLMAN, WA - Pullman police arrested a western Washington man Thursday morning following a report that he broke into a sorority on the WSU campus and attempted to assault multiple residents there.

Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains what happened, and tells us how College Hill residents are reacting to the news.

Generally, it's difficult for strangers to enter a sorority house on Pullman's College Hill.

"You know, they have visiting hours, and they have pretty good security and the girls keep track of each other really well," said Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant. "Especially this early in the year."

"I know our house, we have door codes, we have locks on windows," said WSU Student and Sorority member Ashleigh Cheslek.

"We change the door codes quite frequently and it's usually, for the most part, difficult to get in a sorority," said WSU Student and Sorority member Jenna Johnson.

But early Thursday morning, Pullman Police arrested a man who reportedly entered the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority at least twice without permission. According to police, 20-year-old Osvaldo Noriega of Kirkland, Washington, originally snuck into the house behind a group of students.

"No one really knew him, but they didn't stop and ID him," said Tennant. "He ended up in the TV room. He ended up cuddling up with a couple of the sorority young ladies, but they didn't know him. They just felt it was extremely creepy."

A few members of the sorority escorted Noriega out of the house, but we're told he snuck back through an open window.

"He was discovered in one of the sleeping dorms, and he was trying to pull down or remove the pajamas on a sleeping sorority young woman," said Tennant.

Members of the sorority then called the police and when the authorities arrived, they found Noriega hiding under a bed in another room. They tell us he was clearly intoxicated.

"All we know so far is that he's apparently is not a student," said Tennant. "He indicated he came to Pullman to party."

Noriega was arrested and taken to the Whitman County Jail. KLEW News spoke to some members of other sororities who also live on College Hill about their reaction to the burglary.

"Honestly, that's kind of frightening," said Cheslek.

"Honestly that's really scary because I know on our porch, like, it gets really hot so we have our windows open," said WSU Student and Sorority member Caitlin Tompkins. "And I guess like, we just never really thought about that."

The students we spoke with said even though it's shocking to hear, they still feel relatively safe.

"I've never felt threatened in any sort of way," said Johnson.

"Just because I'm living with like 150 other sisters, and so I’m never really alone," said Tompkins. "I'm with a bunch of girls."

Noriega was arrested on multiple counts, which include felony burglary, and two counts of fourth degree assault with sexual motivation. He's still at the Whitman County Jail on $25,000 bond.