Rape letter warns Santa Clara students

April 20, 2009 11:59:55 PM PDT
Female students at Santa Clara University are being warned to take extra precautions when going out these days. There are reports of at least one incident involving the so-called date rape drug.

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At Santa Clara University, personal safety doesn't seem to be a pressing concern.

"I don't know, like we obviously think we live in this Santa Clara bubble and this stuff doesn't happen around here," said Lauren Backes, a student.

But on April 2, 2009 Santa Clara Police believe a student was drugged and possibly raped. She was at an off-campus gathering and then woke up the next morning in her own home.

"The victim could not recall many details at all and felt she completely blacked out. Which was very uncharacteristic for her and which led her to believe that there was some sort of drugging involved," said Santa Clara Dep. Chief Kevin Kyle.

Police are awaiting test results to determine if the student was sexually assaulted. The date rape drug, also known as Rohypnol or GHB, is often slipped into a person's drink. It has no taste and doesn't smell, but those who take it typically start feeling drunk right away.

Since the incident on April 2, Santa Clara Police received reports of other possible victims -- at least two women who say they too showed symptoms of the date rape drug. Santa Clara University has since alerted its students via email.

"I usually make sure someone's watching my drink, but sometimes it's hard if you've been out for a long night, you put a drink down and you're not keeping track of it, so I could see how it could easily happen," said Delores Thomas, a student.

Even so, students we talked to plan to be extra vigilant.

"Always staying in groups, be careful, what's in the drinks, who's preparing them, what they actually have in them," said Kazimir Brown, a student.

"Every time you need to watch out, because anytime it can happen," said Jacqueline Lynch, a student.

Precautions students hope will keep them from being the next victim.

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