Athens police ID 'persons of interest' in alleged rape of UGA student


By Joe Johnson

Athens-Clarke County police on Tuesday said they had identified two persons of interest in the weekend off-campus alleged rape of a University of Georgia student.

Both males have been questioned but neither had been charged as of early Tuesday afternoon.

"We have identified two persons of interest but right now I don't know how many people will be arrested," said Capt. Christopher Nichols, commanding officer of the Criminal Investigations Division.

"We are continuing to investigate the statements of these persons of interest and their activitites," he said.

The males of interest were identified from surveillance video footage of the car in which the alleged victim was driven from campus early Sunday morning, Nichols said.

Although the alleged rape occurred off campus, it began with what police called a possible kidnapping from UGA’s North Campus parking deck.

According to police, the 20-year-old student met the rape suspect and another male in the downtown district and accepted a ride from them.

UGA police indicated in a university-wide email Sunday morning that the student accompanied the males to the parking deck on South Jackson Street, where she got into a car with them that was then driven off of campus and the alleged rape occurred in the vehicle during the ride.

According to the UGPD Timely Warning email, the suspects and the victim entered the parking deck at approximately 3:20 a.m.

The email noted that at one point, the victim was seen being carried on the back of one of the suspects before entering the car and being driven away.

The suspects are described as two Latino males. One was said by police to have a medium build with dark curly hair, and was wearing a black button-up Columbia shirt and khaki shorts; the second was described as possibly being in his early 20s, thin with dark hair and wearing blue jeans, boots, a black jacket with a hood and a white shirt.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact Detective Schmidt at (762) 400-7308 or Lt. Derek Scott at (762) 400-7068.

Anonymous calls can be made to the Crime Stoppers confidential tip line (706) 705-4775.

Anyone who has been sexually assaulted or knows someone who has can contact The Cottage Sexual Assault Center and Children's Advocacy Center. The agency provides a range of free services to child and adult victims of sexual and physical abuse, including medical care, advocacy, referrals, counseling and support groups.

The Cottage also maintains a 24-hour crisis and information hotline at (877) 363-1912. For more information visit www.northgeorgiacottage.org

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