NC State students concerned after third reported sexual assault

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023 4:31AM
NC State students concerned after third reported sexual assault
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Raleigh Police are investigating after a reported sexual assault of a student on Hillsborough Street right by NC State;s campus.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tensions were high across the NC State campus Monday night after news that Raleigh Police were investigating a reported sexual assault Monday close to campus.

The incident reportedly happened shortly after 11 a.m. at an off-campus location near Hillsborough Street. RPD said it responded shortly at 12:37 p.m. when it received a call about the case.

It is the third sexual-assault investigation at NC State this school year.

"It's terrifying to think that people are victimizing students or anyone at all," said student Katie Boatner. "But like the details of this latest assault actually really scare me."

In a WolfAlert, the university said that a man forced an "NC State-affiliated victim" into a car and then drove elsewhere before sexually assaulting the woman.

ABC11 learned later that the victim was a female student and she was forced into the car in the 2400 block of Hillsborough Street.

The suspect was described by the victim as a black man in his 20s, wearing a short-sleeve black shirt with white writing and blue, knee-length gym shorts. He had black hair with short twists and was about 5-7 or 5-8.

The suspect was driving a blue sedan and left the area in an unknown direction.

No weapon was displayed or implied, police said.

"I think it's really terrible that somebody is changing the dialogue for students," Boatner said. "We should be thinking about our futures, our course road, our professor, our relationships that we are building while we're here. It should be a safe space for learning."

Boatner said she has found ways to protect herself.

"Always carry pepper spray on my keys, and I keep them somewhere," she said. "I can get to it quickly. And just in case, worse comes to worse, I keep a knife in my book bag."

The university says 15 sexual crimes were reported to campus police last academic year.

"This particular incident, I found a little bit more concerning thinking of, like, somebody coming in, grabbing me," said Kendall Bland, a student. She added that she also keeps pepper spray nearby.

Lauren Doggett, a sophomore at State, said she is also being more vigilant. She travels with a group at night, but not as much during the day.

"During the day, a lot of us do go to and from our classes alone and stuff," Doggett said. "And not knowing if you're safe, just trying to get from class to class can be a super concerning thing."

She was troubled by three sexual assault reports with the semester just underway.

"I know three doesn't necessarily sound like a terribly high number, but we've only been here for a month," Doggett said.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Raleigh Police Department by calling 911 or (919) 878-3561. You can also submit tips anonymously via Crimestoppers.

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