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Loyola University freshman charged with rape

Cook County prosecutors charged Loyola University freshman Colin Kennedy with raping two female students in their dormitory rooms on consecutive nights.       Credits:   Chicago Police Department

Cook County prosecutors charged Loyola University freshman Colin Kennedy with raping two female students in their dormitory rooms on consecutive nights. Credits: Chicago Police Department

The two women thought he was a friend they could trust. They let him sleep in their rooms after he told them he could not get into his own dorm room, according to the Chicago Tribune; he repaid their trust by sexually assaulting them.

On Tuesday Cook County prosecutors charged Loyola University freshman, Colin Kennedy, with raping two female students in their dormitory rooms on consecutive nights. Judge Donald Panarese Jr. set bond at $300,000 for Kennedy on two counts of criminal sexual assault.

According to NBCChicago.com Kennedy pleaded guilty to a lessor charge and was sentenced to only one year probation. If you are wondering what lead the prosecutor to offer and accept the lessor charge read the Sun-Times article on the subject.

Most young woman think of rape coming at the hands of a stranger, but such is not the case.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice; ninety percent of college women who are victims of rape or attempted rape know their assailant.  The attacker is usually a classmate, friend, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, or other acquaintance (in that order).

These acquaintance rapes occur when two people are otherwise in the same place (e.g., at a party, studying together in a dorm room). 

Prosecutors said in the first attack on Jan. 13, a 19-year-old woman who was a friend of Kennedy’s returned to her room with him after a night out drinking.  Assistant State’s Attorney Joell Zahr said the woman awoke in the middle of the night to find Kennedy sexually assaulting her, but she was intoxicated and passed out again.

The next night, the second victim was having a small gathering in her dorm room that Kennedy attended.  She let him sleep on her futon when he said he couldn’t get into his own room, according to the prosecutor.
After the victim went to sleep, Kennedy got into her bed and “began groping her.” She continued to try to fight him off, but Kennedy raped her and then fell asleep, Zahr said.

The victim stayed up all night and then asked Kennedy to leave in the morning.  She then notified two friends, including the first victim.  She later reported the attack to campus police, Zahr said.

Many women have a hard time accepting what has happened to them as rape.  One of the largest studies of the problem found that in nearly half the incidents legally categorized as 
completed rapes, the women did not consider the incident to be a rape (Fisher, Cullen and Turner 2000).

What can students do to keep from being sexually assaulted during their college career?

1. Don’t drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug on campuses, and according to a study done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, 1994, is involved in as many as 90% of sexual assaults. 

2. A study on campus rape published in the Journal of American College Health found 73 percent of the assailants and 55 percent of rape victims used alcohol or other drugs.

3. A person who is under the influence may have a hard time understanding and accurately interpreting behavior and actions of someone else. 

4. Research has found when men are under the influence of alcohol; they are likely to interpret a variety of verbal and nonverbal cues as evidence that a woman is interested in having sex with him. These assumptions can be dangerous.

5. Additionally, it’s hard to be assertive when you are drunk.

Interested in taking a Personal Safety/Self-Defense class? You can sign up for Act in Self Defense classes at: http://www.fonsecamartialarts.com/self-defense

If you would like more information on scheduling a Personal Safety/Self-Defense Class for you, your high school, college, business, or civic organization please contact me at ekress@ameritech.net.

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