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Police investigate 3 reported rapes over Little 500 weekend near IU

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (April 18, 2016)-- Police are investigating three reported rapes that happened near Indiana University’s Bloomington campus over Little 500 weekend.

While police continue their investigations, banners reading “Got Consent?” hang from fraternity homes, reminding students of the ongoing issues with sexual assault at IU.

“One of the things we have done over the years is keep people safe for Little 500, it is not going to go away…so our job is to make it as safe as we can,” said Bloomington police Cpt. Steve Kellams.

Three woman reported they were raped in separate cases near campus. Students received an alarming campus-wide emergency notification Sunday morning, warning them that a 19-year-old female student was reportedly raped after three men approached her. Police say the alleged attack happened when two of the men held her down while she says the third raped her in the yard between homes near campus. Police are not sure if the suspects are IU students.

“If anybody happened to see these three subjects that were moving through the area about midnight…call us up,” said Lt. Craig Munroe of IU Campus Police.

Two other rapes were reported to Bloomington Police Friday night. In one of those cases, a 20-year-old woman told police she was approached after leaving a concert at Memorial Stadium. The woman says she was separated from her friends and her phone was dying, she asked a man in his early 20s to borrow his. According to the woman he then brought her to an apartment where he and his roommate took turns raping her.

“We never blame the victims, the victims don’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately, you have this environment where people are not thinking straight or making the decision,” said Cpt. Kellams.

Police issued more than 100 drinking and minor drug offenses this weekend during the Little 500 celebration. However, it is not yet known if there is any connection between these sexual assaults and the Little 500.

The banners warning of sexual assault on campus are part of a campaign from Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault (M.A.R.S.) group at Indiana University. The group says the fraternities will continue to hang those banners through the end of the school year and hope to start the important conversation about the ongoing issue.