Police at a Southern California university are stepping up patrols after the second gang rape in two months, authorities said Monday.
A 19-year-old student at University of California, Santa Barbara was raped and beaten by at least three men between 11 p.m. Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.
The survivor returned to her Isla Vista home Sunday after the attack and told her roommate and law enforcement, and she was treated for her injuries at a hospital.
Investigators said they do not have any witnesses to the latest attack and are not sure where the assault took place, other than outside of a party in Isla Vista.
About a month ago, another woman was assaulted by three individuals near campus. That attack resulted in three arrests.
Calls and emails to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Monday for an update about their investigation into Sunday’s assault were not returned.
"Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for us to investigate sexual assault cases, but what's very unique about this case is, we have a woman who was beaten and raped by several suspects who were working together, and that's definitely very disturbing," Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover told NBC4 Sunday. "It's a horrendous crime."
Students said they received an email alert from the university after the first gang rape. Some coeds on Monday were unaware of Sunday’s attack, while others said they were on heightened alert.
“People make fun of everybody for walking around Isla Vista in groups, but it's the only way you can really stay safe,” UCSB student Breanna Deane said.
Another way students can protect themselves is by taking self-defense classes.
Sensei Stephen Muraoka teaches mostly how to combat one-on-one attacks at this McCumber Karate dojo. But he said getting confronted by a group, like the 19-year-old woman had last weekend, is a different animal.
Muraoka said in that case, he would not support engaging head-on, but instead approach the attackers with keys out, held so they can be used as a weapon.
And never, he said, be unaware of the environment.