NEW ORLEANS — A Loyola University student was arrested in connection to a sexual battery reported at a popular college bar in Uptown New Orleans last week.
University officials confirmed that a student was arrested after he allegedly approached a female student inside The Boot Bar and Grill and touched her without consent, then tried to separate her from her friends despite her shoving and striking him away, according to campus police.
The incident reportedly happened around 3 a.m. Friday. The same night, another woman became incapacitated after drinking one drink, raising suspicion she had been drugged, campus police said.
NOPD officials identified the suspect as 21-year-old Carlos Pena Cifuentes of Madrid, Spain, an exchange student at Loyola. He was arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center for felony sexual battery.
Loyola University officials said they were taking disciplinary action to ensure all their students' safety.
"The safety of our students is our top priority. We are grateful for the ongoing efforts of the NOPD. The Loyola and Tulane Police Departments will continue to assist NOPD in the investigation in any way possible," said Patricia Murret, Associate Director of Public Affairs for Loyola.
Pena was released Sunday after posting a $3,500 bail and was cleared by police to return to class on Loyola's campus, according to court records. Loyola officials, however, said he does not live in the school's dormitories and "...will not be on campus for the foreseeable future."
The incident was the third sexual battery reported at The Boot in less than a month's time, and the arrest comes after Loyola and Tulane university police warned students to be cautious at the bar.
While officials did not confirm if Friday's incident was related to the prior sexual batteries reported at the bar, the suspect descriptions from the earlier incidents match.
Campus police ask students to be aware of their surroundings, to go out in groups and to not accept drinks from people you don't know or leave your drink unattended.
NOPD officials said the investigation was ongoing and they are working with campus police and the bar owner.
Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call NOPD Special Victims Section detectives at 504-658-5523.
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