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Police: Victim says she was raped, potentially drugged by woman in Ohio University dorm

The university sent out an alert to students on Wednesday.

ATHENS, Ohio — Ohio University is looking into a rape that reportedly happened inside one of their dorms.

On Wednesday, students received an alert from the Ohio University Police Department saying between 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night and 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, a woman says she was raped by another woman.

The victim says she met the suspect earlier in the day. They agreed to meet up later that evening at Jefferson Hall, where the victim says she may have been drugged and did not give consent.

“[Getting the alert] was actually very strange, it's always very strange, because you don't really want to think about it. But at the same time, it's important to be aware because stuff like that does happen,” fifth-year student Rachel Thall said.

10TV asked the university what warrants an alert to students. They said it's required whenever there is an ongoing threat. The alert must go out within 48 hours of an incident, a process that is defined through the Clery Act.

The university says students are taught about sexual assault prevention in orientation and have access to bystander intervention training throughout their time at school. Bystander intervention teaches students to say something if they see something and how to intervene in a safe way.

“We've added resources in the Sexual Assault Prevention Office, and that office has really ramped up about six years ago and they've got three social workers working in that office now … it's now a confidential resource, where it wasn't previously, and so that's a really great step in the right direction,” said Carly Leatherwood, Associate VP of Communications for Ohio University.

In 2020, there were nine rapes reported on campus during the pandemic. In 2019 there were 24 reports and in 2018 there were 34 reports.

The Ohio University Police Department is asking anyone with information to come forward and give them a call at 740-593-1911.

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