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Banner Elk PD still investigating rape PDF Print
Tuesday, 20 November 2007 19:59

Banner Elk Police Department is still investigating an alleged rape near the campus of Lees-McRae.

A female Lees-McRae student was allegedly the victim of stranger rape early Sunday. At approximately 2 a.m., the student was walking in the wooded area between the churches and Avery dorm in Banner Elk when she was attacked. It was dark and the victim was unable to give police a clear description. The assailant is believed to be a white male and larger than the victim. The student was treated and released by Watauga Medical Center. Banner Elk Police Department regularly patrols the area- and is actively investigating the case. Anyone with information is urged to call 828-898-4300.

In the meantime, Sgt. Steve Gouge urges students to use the buddy system and not to walk alone at night.

Campus security has no official comment at this time, but the College released the following statement to Aisling Broadcasting:


The offices of Student Development and Campus Security informed the Lees-McRae College campus community that a Lees-McRae student was sexually assaulted late Saturday night/early Sunday morning in close proximity to campus. The Banner Elk Police are currently investigating the incident.

Lees-McRae College is committed to providing a safe and secure campus environment.  All members of the campus community – students, faculty, and staff – share the responsibility for creating a safe campus. Well-trained campus security officers maintain high visibility, make regular visits throughout the campus, conduct security checks in academic buildings and residence halls, and provide nighttime safety escort service upon request.  Campus Security officers work closely with the Banner Elk Police and Fire Departments and other law enforcement agencies as appropriate.

Professional staff in the Student Development Office provides frequent educational programs in personal safety on topics such as healthy relationships, self-defense, date rape and sexual assault, and drug and alcohol awareness. Students are urged to exercise good judgment by being aware of their surroundings, avoiding walking alone after dark, refraining from loaning a room key to a friend, locking their residence hall room doors, marking and securing their valuables, and reporting suspicious persons or behavior to Campus Security or Residence Life staff.

Resources are available for students who are the victims of sexual assault. Lees-McRae College has a strong record of safety, and the campus regularly reviews its practices and exercises diligence in providing safety and security for all members of the college community.

Lees-McRae College complies with the Clery Act and statistics are available online at
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