Pierce College Student Sexually Assaulted by Man Helping Her With Car Battery

Students were first notified of the sexual assault more than two weeks after the attack took place

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Questions are raised after it took officials at Pierce College weeks to post notices that warned students about a sexual assault and possible predator lurking around campus. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Woodland Hills Tuesday Feb. 25, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014)

    A college student whose car battery died on campus was sexually assaulted by a man who she thought was there to jump start her car, authorities said.

    The search for the assailant continued Tuesday as word of the attack began to spread around the Pierce College campus.

    The attack took place after 8 p.m. on Feb. 10 -- the first day of the spring semester -- in the parking lot near the school's Music Building, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

    The woman's car battery died, stranding her in the lot. After she called for a jump service, a man showed up in a white, four-door Toyota Prius with a tow company logo on the door, sheriff's officials said.

    The assailant jump-started the woman's battery then turned and sexually assaulted her, investigators said. The student escaped, locked herself inside the car then drove away.

    Though the attack happened more than two weeks ago, Pierce College students were first notified about the assault when bulletins went up on campus Monday.

    “It’s pretty lonely, and you're thinking you’re safe," student Jennifer Barajas said. "For it to happen, it just scares you.”

    Another student told NBC4 the campus is "really dark. I don't exactly feel safe."

    Sheriff's officials said the victim reported the attack to the Los Angeles Police Department, which handles security for the two-year college located in Woodland Hills. It's not clear how long after the attack police were alerted.

    Rolf Schleicher, the college's vice president of administrative services, said he was informed about the assault Monday and that the school was looking into why students were not notified sooner.

    The attacker was described as a man in his 30s with facial hair.

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