• Multiple rape allegations surface on UofM's campus, students speak out

    By: Scott Madaus

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - There is a sense of uneasiness on the University of Memphis campus after multiple rape allegations surfaced in just one week.

    “I don't feel safe,” student Anna Swearengen said.

    The most recent case was over the weekend. Allegations against now former Tigers football player, Ernest Suttles, surfaced Saturday morning. Suttles pled not guilty Monday.

    RELATED: Former UofM football player pleads not guilty to rape charge

    Suttles was arrested Saturday and is charged in an alleged sexual assault that happened in the 3800 block of Douglas Ave, just off campus.

    “Well I’m terrified,” student Ariel Tate said.

    Just last week, 20-year-old Nick Wayman was indicted by a grand jury for rape and sexual battery after he was accused of raping a woman back in April.. again just off campus.

    RELATED: UofM student says she was raped twice in 20 days

    “I just try to don't be outside during the night,” Esmat Fathi said.

    According to the TBI, there have been an increase in rapes reported on the university's campus.

    A total of 9 forcible sex offenses were reported in 2016 and that includes 3 forcible rapes.

    In 2015, a total of 6 forcible sex offenses were reported and that includes 1 forcible rape.

    So while the general feeling for many women on campus continues to be one of fear and uncertainty, they said all they can do now is prepare.

    “I have to carry pepper spray and brass knuckles with me just so I can walk to my house which is like a block away. I’m not doing anything differently, but hopefully a lot of girls are,” Swearengen said.

    University president David Rudd is hosting an open conversation on sexual harassment and sexual assault on college campuses on Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the University Center Theater.

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