College town keeps an eye out for serial rapist

ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH)–Athens Police are working to get the word out about a search for an alleged serial rapist connected to at least three rape cases through DNA evidence over the past decade.

According to investigators, the three female victims were walking alone at night in uptown Athens near Ohio University’s campus when the sexual assaults occurred.

athenssuspect2As news of this search circulates throughout the college town residents, students and former faculty are reacting.

Jan Hodson, former Assistant Dean of the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University, explained that the school has always tried to educate incoming students and their parents about having realistic ideas about crime on or near campus.

“I think we do a really good job in this town of making people who come to this school believe this is a really safe and wonderful little place in southeastern Ohio. But those of us who work at the University always spoke really honestly with parents and said it’s not that nothing bad ever happens here; bad things do happen here,” said Hodson.

Janice Huwe grew up in Athens and has a daughter taking classes at OU.

She said she derives some comfort in the fact that her daughter goes to class during the daytime.

“It’s frightening to hear a story like that. There’s a predator out there preying on women,” explained Huwe.

Some students tell NBC4 they’re taking measures to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault.

“You just kind of have to stay in groups when you go out. And you got to be careful; make sure you’re not walking alone,” said Caitlyn Lust, an OU freshman. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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