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Student reports rape

Scott Brodfuehrer | Thursday, October 2, 2003

The St. Joseph County Family Violence and Special Victims unit is investigating a 21-year-old Saint Mary’s student’s claim that she was raped early Sunday morning.

The woman told police she suspected that a man placed a drug in her drink at the Linebacker Lounge on Saturday night or early Sunday morning, said South Bend Police Captain John Williams.

Williams said he could not release a copy of the police report to The Observer, but confirmed details of the alleged incident.

The woman said she went to the bar on Saturday night with a male friend and met his roommate there. While at the bar, she said the roommate bought and gave her drinks.

The woman left the bar at 3 a.m. with her friend and his roommate and returned to their apartment, where she said they continued to drink before she was later given a pillow and a blanket to sleep on the couch.

The next morning, the woman said she woke up naked next to the roommate in his bed.

Brent Hemmerlein, commander of the Family Violence and Special Victims unit, declined to state whether the accused is a Notre Dame student.

“Right now I can’t release that information. It is an active investigation … it is an acquaintance situation, someone known to the victim,” Hemmerlein said.

The woman told police she had never blacked out before and said she thought it was possible that the roommate drugged her drink.

The alleged victim went to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center on Monday for a rape exam and to see whether she had been drugged. Hemmerlein said that the hospital provided some exam results to the victim, who gave them to his department.

The police must obtain a consent form from the victim to obtain the results of the exam. How the investigation will progress depends on the victim’s wishes, Hemmerlein said.