Tulane student says she was sexually assaulted in bar - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Tulane student says she was sexually assaulted in bar


NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Tulane University student says she was sexually assaulted in an off-campus bar early Wednesday morning. It allegedly happened at the intersection of Freret and Broadway, and it's one of several recent attacks that have students on edge.

Tulane University students received an email blast from the school alerting them to the incident Wednesday afternoon. Many say they're not incredibly surprised to hear that a sexual assault may have occurred near campus. But this one is alleged to have happened inside a bar.

"I don't think any of us really expected someone to be assaulted at the Palms, and like no one realized that it was happening," said student Elinor Chambers.

A student says a man in his early- to mid-20s sexually assaulted her around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. According to police, a short time later, that same man and another man sexually assaulted her again.

In a separate incident March 3, a student says she awoke in her university-area apartment to find a man sexually assaulting her.

And just last week on Prytania Street, a woman was able to fend off a would-be rapist after he entered her home and groped her.

"There have been a lot of assaults recently, and I don't know if more are being reported - because a lot do go unreported - or if there's been a spike recently," said Chambers.

Although the latest incident happened in the early morning hours at a bar, students say they know anyone can be attacked at any time or place.

"That could happen walking home from the library at night," said student Jill Derosas. "I get scared by those things sometimes, too, so I wouldn't blame it on the alcohol. I would just blame it on the situation."

In light of the attacks, Tulane police remind students to always be aware of their surroundings and to try not to overindulge in alcoholic beverages. But the ladies we spoke to say all of the responsibility can't be placed on the victims.

"In New Orleans there needs to be a mentality shift when it comes to sexual assault," said Dylan DeLisle. "You do see a lot of times, people will be like, 'well, she was in a bad area' or 'they were really drunk, so they were kicked out of a cab.' So there's a lot of victim-blaming and it's highly unfortunate."

These students are hoping police catch the perpetrators responsible for the recent attacks so that they can feel more comfortable and prevent other women from being victimized.

Investigations into the recent alleged sexual assaults are ongoing.

In the March 3 incident, the suspect is described as being between 23 and 29 years old with black hair, brown eyes and a medium build. If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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