Assault in Building 2

Man arrested for rape on Tuesday

2851 rape 1
MIT Police question Jason Reed in connection with a sexual assault shortly after 3:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Reed was charged with rape and trespassing.
John a. Hawkinson—The Tech
2853 rape 2
MIT Police examine the area on the first floor of Building 2, where the incident took place.
John A. Hawkinson—The Tech

A man was arrested early Tuesday morning on campus and charged with rape and trespassing.

Around 2:20 a.m. Tuesday morning, the MIT Police received a report of a sexual assault on the first floor of Building 2, most likely in a classroom. Police responded and assisted the victim with medical attention, and cordoned off the scene.

Like most of MIT’s interconnected main campus, classrooms in Building 2 are unsecured and accessible to the public. Building 2 is just east of MIT’s main lawn and adjoins Memorial Drive.

Neither party involved was affiliated with the Institute, the MIT Police said.

Violent crime on MIT’s campus is extremely rare. Excluding incidents involving on-campus parties, there have been no comparable incidents within the past two decades.

By 4 a.m., MIT Police had arrested Jason Reed, who was found on campus and in the vicinity of the crime scene.

Reed, age 30, is homeless and was arrested on the charge of trespassing. He was arraigned Tuesday on trespassing as well as two counts of rape, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.

Reed knew the victim casually, MIT Police said.

Reed is being held without bail, the DA said, pending a “dangerousness hearing” which is scheduled for today.

Reed has a troubled history, including a conviction earlier this year in Boston.

At the age of 12, Reed witnessed a friend commit suicide with a handgun at close quarters, according to a statement by his lawyer filed in connection with the prior arrest.

Reed has been homeless multiple times, and has moved between Boston, Arizona, Dallas, and New Jersey in the past decade. He returned to Boston in 2009 and has been homeless here. He has been diagnosed with mental illness and has been on multiple medications, his lawyer’s statement said.

In January of this year, Reed was arrested and subsequently convicted of assault and battery. He hit a woman in the head several times behind 110 Newbury St., apparently after having sex with her, according to a Boston Police report.

The January victim, Shereen Westdahl, age 46, was hospitalized, but was then released and died shortly thereafter, according to the case file.

Since his incarceration in January, and until his release on or around March 16, Reed has not had access to his medication, his lawyer’s statement said.

Reed was convicted on March 16 and sentenced to three months of jail time, which was deemed to have been served by the time he spent in jail awaiting sentencing.

The Commonwealth had recommended an 18-month jail term, the Suffolk District Attorney’s office said.

Reed’s court-appointed public defender for the January case, Justin Drechsler, declined to comment.

A previous version of this article ran on our website on Tuesday evening.