Investigator Exclusive: Seven accused of raping college student

10:42 AM, Aug 23, 2010   |    comments
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The 21-year-old victim was partying at a Sunnyslope Road apartment in the early morning of July 31 when she went into another room with the party's host Jamar Hawkins, according to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Ryan Miday.

Soon after, six men entered the room and raped the victim while Hawkins stood by and permitted it, Miday said.

After the attack the victim and her friend drove to Bedford Medical Center. Maple Heights police responded and collected forensic evidence that has been sent to a state crime lab for analysis.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Hawkins, 23, and the following men on rape and kidnapping charges:

  • Wykeily Philpotts, 19, of Maple Heights 
  • Anthony Hollins, 24, of Richmond Heights
  • Tederick Pollard, 26, of Maple Heights 
  • Aubrey Gardner, 24, of Bedford
  • Jovan Highbaugh, 21, of Maple Heights
  • Jerome Cater, 24, of Maple Heights

Megan O'Bryan, president of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, said that women, particularly those headed off to college, need to remain vigilant when attending parties, even if it's hosted by someone they know.

"You might kind of know or you go to the same school [with the person], but that still does not mean that it is a safe environment," O'Bryan said.

"The vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by somebody that we know or that we might trust in that moment."

"You should travel in a group and you should make a pact to arrive and leave with that same group of friends and to check in with your friends throughout the evening."

WKYC-TV

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