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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

UF student raped at Rawlings Hall, police say


About a week after a report of a rape in a UF dorm hall was released to students, UPD said another student reported she was sexually battered at Rawlings Hall early Saturday morning. 

UPD emailed a release to students Wednesday afternoon about the rape, which happened after the student left a “fraternity-sorority function” with an unknown person, according to the email. 

The female student reported the rape to the UF Campus Security Authority, which works under UPD, “several days” after it happened. Police said the student did not tell police or UF officials more details about the rape or who the suspected rapist is.     

On Friday, the student met someone at a sorority and fraternity event somewhere off-campus, police said. The student and the person she met at the event shared an Uber together and drove to Rawlings Hall. 

At about 2 a.m., the unknown person raped the student, police said. It is unclear where in Rawlings Hall it happened. 

Gerrica Lamothe, a 17-year-old exploratory freshman who lives in Rawlings Hall, said she always watches the door close when entering the building to make sure no one slips in behind her.

Now, Lamonthe had to have a conversation with her roommate to start locking their door every night, which they didnt do before, after hearing about the rape in her building.

“It definitely made me feel unsafe,” Lamonthe said. “I didn't expect anyone to be able to be violated in their own living area.” 

This is the second reported sexual battery on UF’s campus to be made public by UPD this month.

On Sept. 10, UPD emailed students about a female student who reported she was raped in Jennings Hall in August. Similar to this most recent case, the survivor of the August attack declined to tell UF officials details about the incident, police said. 

Discussions on sexual assault, rape and student safety has been a point of controversy on campus this semester. The debate over whether blue emergency light poles, which can call law enforcement at the push of a button, should be installed on Fraternity Drive came to a head Tuesday afternoon.

About 200 protesters demanded for the emergency lights to be installed and expressed outrage over UF Student Government and UF administration’s inaction. 

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The reported rapes also follow the arrest and release of former UF Resident Assistant Ian Milaski, who is now facing an additional charge of attempted sexual battery.

Police arrested Milaski after he was accused of repeatedly asking a female student to have sex with him and trying to put his finger in her vagina against her will. Milaski’s case received national media attention after a judge agreed to reduce his original bond of $125,000 when Milaski’s lawyer argued he was a “high-achieving” student leader. 

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused or is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the Alacha County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center or the Alachua County Crisis Center for more information on how to get help.

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