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By John Brown
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 20, 1997

Pima student allegedly raped

A 19-year-old Pima Community College student was allegedly raped in her apartment north of the UA campus early yesterday by an assailant that came through an unlocked patio door.

The student, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said she believes the man would've killed her if her friends had not returned to the apartment at Scotia Club Apartments, 1810 E. Blackridge Drive. Some University of Arizona students live in the complex.

She said the man was scared off when her roommate came home with a male friend.

Tucson Police yesterday arrested Richard L. Robertson, 36, of the 2600 block of West Crown King Drive, in connection with the alleged assault. He was booked into Pima County Jail on charges of sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault and burglary. Last night he was being held on a $250,000 bond.

Police said the student fell asleep on her couch with the patio door open sometime after midnight.

Most assailants in "stranger" rapes gain access to their victims through an unlocked door or window, said Sgt. Eugene Mejia, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.

"We always urge people to lock their doors," Mejia said.

Police said the student awoke about 3:45 a.m. to find the man in her apartment. Police said when the student saw the man, he allegedly began choking her.

The student said she struggled with the man for several minutes until realizing her efforts to scream were stifled.

The man then allegedly raped her, police said.

The student said her roommate and a male friend returned from a party in the complex and the man fled.

A male friend and a security guard chased the man through the complex until he struck the guard in the face and jumped a wall, police said.

Police said a witness took down the license plate number of a truck seen speeding away from the complex.

The student said she had come home from a 12-hour shift at work and took a sleeping pill before falling asleep. She said she closed the blinds and placed a blanket over the door and didn't think anyone could see her.

Around 2:30 a.m. the student said she heard a noise and went outside thinking it might be a friend.

She said she now believes the man may have been watching her.

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