Sheriff's office investigates reported rape at Paine College

 

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a reported rape Thursday morning of a 22-year-old student in the restroom of an all-female residence hall at Paine College.

“Everyone is a suspect at this point,” said Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Calvin Chew.

The student’s roommate called 911 immediately after the 1:30 a.m. attack. The 22-year-old was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center.

The woman told authorities she had been sexually assaulted by a black man whom she did not recognize in the bathroom in Graham Hall.

According to Paine College’s Web site, Graham Hall houses 110 women with one bathroom on each floor.

All residence halls close at midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, according to the Web site. Any resident who needs admittance after closing must contact campus security for an escort and provide college identification and a room key. Campus security will admit residents only every hour unless there are extenuating circumstance.

Brandon Brown, the vice president of institutional advancement, said that the policy was followed Wednesday evening and that male visitors are not permitted into female residence halls.

Brown said the campus perimeters were secured shortly after the incident was reported.

“At no time did we feel student safety was in jeopardy,” he said.

Students were notified through a campus alert system, but Brown declined to say how soon the alert was issued.

“We don’t want to get into any specifics to hinder the sheriff’s office’s investigation,” he said.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance videos from the campus and surrounding areas. Brown declined to say whether cameras are installed in residence halls.

Police described the assailant as a dark-skinned black man with bad acne. He is about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet9 inches tall and weighs between 150 to 160 pounds. He was wearing a purple hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact the Criminal Investigative Division at (706) 821-1020 and ask for a violent-crimes supervisor.

 

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