A 20-year-old female Arizona State University student was sexually assaulted by four males as she entered her apartment early Sunday morning.
The victim was walking home from another apartment in her complex — Gateway at Tempe, at the intersection of University and McClintock drives — around 1 a.m. The four males followed her and, after she walked through the building’s front door, they attacked her, the victim told police.
“Everybody was coming in at the same time,” said Sgt. Cindy Davies, a Tempe police spokeswoman, “but (the males) were uninvited.”
Three of the males restrained the victim as the fourth sexually assaulted her.
Sunday’s assault is the second time this month that a Gateway resident has been attacked.
Around 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 7, a male climbed through a second-story apartment window at the complex and attempted to sexually assault a 19-year-old female. The female managed to fight off her attacker.
Davies said detectives don’t believe the cases are linked.
News of the assault put residents on edge, as they found their complex littered with notices from Tempe police asking for help — and warning them to watch out for themselves.
Alisha Harper, a 19-year-old ASU student, often visits her boyfriend’s apartment at Gateway and has never before thought to take precautions when coming and going.
“I’m kinda scared now. That’s crazy,” Harper said.
Crime seems like a common occurrence at the complex, said Forrest McCarthy, an ASU student living in Gateway. Two days ago, McCarthy said robbers broke into his apartment and stole his and his roommate’s laptop computers.
McCarthy said he was only surprised by the nature of the incident.
“We actually thought someone died in the pool,” McCarthy said.
After attacking the female student Sunday, the males fled on foot. She told police they were likely at the complex looking for a party and do not live there.
The victim did not know her attackers. She received minor injuries, but did not require hospitalization.
No one else was in the apartment at the time of the assault.
Descriptions of the attackers at this time were general. The victim told police she believes the males were between 18 and 24 years old, with average builds, and are anywhere from 5 feet 9 inches tall and 6 feet 2 inches tall.
While police lack details about the attackers, Davies said it should not prevent them from finding the suspects.
“There are people who know who these people are. They might possibly be talking about” the assault, Davies said.
Tempe police are asking for anyone with information to call: (480) 350-8311 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377.
Tribune writer Devon Hersom and intern Rachel Branch contributed to this report.