Local News

Raleigh Woman Assaulted Over Weekend At Apartment Complex

Posted July 19, 2004 5:13 a.m. EDT

— Early Saturday morning, police say someone broke into the Ivy Chase Apartments in Raleigh and sexually assaulted a young woman.

Raleigh police have distributed fliers asking for information about the weekend assault. They said women in apartment complexes are more vulnerable, especially if they live on the ground floor.

"Unfortunately, it's just not a fair world when it comes to women living on bottom floors of an apartment because it makes that apartment more visible. It makes it more accessible," said Capt. Dennis Poteat, of the Raleigh Police Department.

Ivy Chase tenant Jenny Hopkins said she is relieved to be moving out.

"I'm glad that I was leaving. [I am] concerned for my roommate that was here by herself that night," she said.

Still, the assault will not keep Lisa Todaro from renting at the apartment complex next month.

"I feel like it could happen anywhere. We're in the middle of a city. Anything that could happen in any residential community could happen here," she said. "Just because it's more college-oriented doesn't change the fact that we're in a city."

The incident at the apartment complex draws comparisons to the rape and murder of

Stephanie Bennett

in her apartment in north Raleigh two years ago.

"That particular crime is on our minds everyday. We're working everyday to solve that crime, but we have to be careful to not say any similar crime is automatically the same suspect," Poteat said.

The victim is recovering and cooperating with police. Ivy Chase Apartments sent out a letter to tenants telling them about the assault and reminding them about basic safety procedures. The apartment complex offers tenants' alarm systems and bedroom panic buttons at no charge.