ATHENS (WCMH) — Police at Ohio University said there have been four reported rapes on campus in 2017, and all four happened in a period of one week.
According to OU police reports, the first reported rape happened January 29. The second was on February 2, and the third and fourth both happened in the early morning hours on February 5.
Campus police released two emergency crime alerts on Sunday for the third and fourth reported incidents.
One victim reported she had been raped in her Ryors Hall dorm room by an unknown male at 3 a.m. Sunday. The female told police that after meeting the suspect on West Union Street, the two walked back to her room where she fell asleep. She woke up to find the suspect having sexual contact with her without her consent. This suspect is described as a white male with “long blonde wavy hair” wearing a white hooded sweatshirt.
Also on Sunday, a female reported being raped by a man in her Armbruster House dorm room. The suspect was described as a white male in his late 20s with short dark hair, wearing khaki pants and a gray hooded sweatshirt.
Students on campus told NBC4 the news made them nervous.
“It’s scary to like walk around campus and know that stuff like that’s going on,” Abbey Sefchik, a freshman, said. “It’s unnerving.”
Sefchik said she felt like she had received email alerts once a week.
“I mean, it seems like a lot. I didn’t hear about—where I’m from, we never heard anything like that,” Sefchik said.
Another freshman, Ashlin Smart, said it was “worrisome” to hear about several recent rapes.
“I usually call a friend if I’m walking by myself,” Smart said. “That way if something happens, they obviously are on the line, they know. Also, just walk with a friend too, just carry pepper spray.”
A couple of students said they think the university has the resources to prevent and handle these incidents.
“I know on your ID, they have the number you can call so like if you know you’re going to go somewhere by yourself, you can have somebody pick you up or like walk with you there so you aren’t by yourself,” freshman Abbie Hunter said.