NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans police are investigating a suspected rape in Uptown on the Loyola University campus.
Investigators say a student reported she was attacked in one of the stairwells in the Freret Street garage on campus early Friday morning.
They say the victim admitted she had some drinks with the alleged suspect, whom she met and danced with that night.
According to police, the victim stated that she allowed him to walk her home, at which time she claims he sexually assaulted her in the garage.
"It wasn't a random act where a stranger came in off the street and assaulted the young woman," said Capt. Roger Pinac of the Loyola Police Department.
Loyola students say while it may not have been a random act. the alleged crime hit too close to home.
"It's terrible, you know," said Aneesh Gupta, a Loyola sophomore. "You think it's somebody until it's you, so you got to understand this is our community. You got to feel for every member of it."
"I study here late at night and stuff and I walk be myself," said Loyola Junior Maria Mendoza. "I've always felt safe. That is a concern now, like it makes you be more aware."
There are crime cameras and emergency phones everywhere you turn at Loyola, but campus police say securing the parking garages is difficult.
"One of the garages has six different stairwells and it goes up four or five floors," said Pinac. "You can cover it as much as you want, but if you're in one place, you're not in another."
Loyola officials hope students view this incident as a teachable moment to know their limits, especially when it comes to consuming alcohol.
"Be aware of your surroundings," said Pinac. "Let people know where you're going, where you've been and know who you're with."
"Even if it is someone you know, you always have to be cautious," said Mendoza. "You never know what's going to happen."
"Be careful, watch your six, lock up and don't be too messed up when you get home at night, I guess," said Gupta.
Police have yet to charge the alleged suspect.
NOPD detectives have been in contact with him and are expected to meet with him at a scheduled time.
He is reportedly not a Loyola student.
This story was produced with WWLTV's partners at UptownMessenger.com.