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By John Brown
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 2, 1997

Second alleged rape investigated

About a week after a UA student was allegedly raped at an apartment complex north of campus, a second student reported she was sexually assaulted at a university fraternity house.

Yesterday, university police were near the end of their investigation into an alcohol-related acquaintance rape that allegedly occurred Friday night.

An 18-year-old female student called police after her encounter with a male student of legal drinking age, said Sgt. Sal Celi of the University of Arizona Police Department.

Police withheld their names pending completion of the investigation.

Six acquaintance rapes have been reported since Sept. 1 to the UA Oasis Center for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence, director Irene Anderson said.

She would not confirm whether this recent alleged assault was reported to Oasis, as all reports remain confidential.

Both students told officers they were drinking at the fraternity and were sexually involved that evening, Celi said. They spent most of the night together.

The woman alleged the sexual activity became non-consensual at one point, he said.

"There is an indication that alcohol was involved and may have played a role in both persons' decision-making processes," Celi said. "It appears to be a really common date rape situation."

Celi said when the department's investigation was complete, he will forward the case to the Pima County Attorney's office.

"It will be up to them to determine what, if any, charges are filed," he said, adding the man has been cooperative and has voluntarily provided information during police interviews.

According to Celi, the presence of alcohol was "a stumbling block" to UAPD's inquiry into whether the sex was consensual.

"In almost all of these types of sexual assaults that I have investigated, alcohol has clouded their judgment," he said. "I can only think of two in the recent past that were entirely alcohol- and drug-free."

The most recent national data indicates alcohol has played a role in between 50 percent to 90 percent of all acquaintance sexual assaults, Anderson said. She said that more than half of the assaults at the University of Arizona involved alcohol.

Celi said these cases are difficult because people often use drugs and alcohol to escape or forget details.

"Relationships between people require open communication and alcohol and drugs break that down," he said.

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