University Student Charged with Attempted Sexual Assault


Courtesy of Sarah Jones

The student is a member of the University’s football team.

Cate McCusker, Co-Editor in Chief

Content Warning: Sexual Assault

On Tuesday, Mar. 9, a Villanova University student, sophomore Iyanu Elijah Solomon, was arrested by University Police and charged with the attempted sexual assault of another University student.

Solomon, a member of the University’s football team, has been charged with attempted sexual assault, a felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of indecent assault, simple assault and unlawful restraint. If convicted, Solomon could face a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment.

In a press release issued today by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, it details the timeline of the report, stemming from the incident in September of 2019.

“The victim reported the incident to her resident assistant approximately two weeks after it had occurred but had decided against filing a police report at that time. In August 2020, however, the victim met with the Villanova University police and the victim’s written statement was obtained. The victim did not, however, elect to pursue criminal charges. In February 2021, however, the victim decided that she wanted to pursue criminal charges and reported that she had been subjected to ongoing harassment by the defendant. In March 2021 the victim met with representatives from the District Attorney’s Office” the press release said.

According to the University, as soon as the formal complaint was filed, the University Police, in consultation with the Delaware County District Attorney’s office, immediately launched an investigation, resulting in Solomon’s arrest.

“A bail has been set, but he is still currently in custody,” a spokesperson from the University told The Villanovan. “He has been removed from campus, he is not permitted to return to campus, and he has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.”

The University has also stated that today’s arrest is unrelated to the March 1 arrest, concerning the report that students were notified about on Wednesday, March 3, in which four resident female students reported that they had been sexually assaulted by the same known male student in University residence halls.

In response to the incident, the University has issued this statement:

“On Tuesday, March 9, Villanova University Police arrested and charged Villanova student Iyanu Elijah Solomon with the attempted sexual assault of another University student stemming from a 2019 incident. The University recently received a formal complaint and Villanova University Police, in consultation with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, worked quickly to investigate this matter. Solomon has been removed from campus. There is no place for sexual misconduct of any kind on Villanova’s campus or in our community. These acts constitute the deepest affront to University standards and will not be tolerated in any form. As there is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to comment further on this matter.”