College in Calif. on Edge After Student Raped, Beaten

Authorities do not have any witnesses and still aren't sure exactly where the attack happened

By Christina Cocca and Kate Larsen
|  Monday, Feb 24, 2014  |  Updated 1:56 AM PDT
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Investigators are still searching for a group of men who raped and severely beat a 19-year-old UC Santa Barbara student. Kate Larsen reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.

Investigators are still searching for a group of men who raped and severely beat a 19-year-old UC Santa Barbara student. Kate Larsen reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.

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An investigation was underway Sunday after a 19-year-old student at University of California, Santa Barbara was raped and beaten by a group of men, officials said.

The crime occurred between 11 p.m. Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

The victim 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.

Authorities were searching for a group of people only described as Asian males.

"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. "It's a horrendous crime."

The campus community was on edge after the attack, as investigators do not have any witnesses and aren't sure where the assault took place.

"Another problem in this case is that we don't have any witnesses that we know of," Hoover said.

Students call the incident "beyond horrible" and worry the same thing could happen to friends of their own.

"I just imagine having one of my friends have that happen to her, and it's terrible," one student said. "That's a terrible thought

"I think it's just horrible but I have heard similar stuff," another student said. "You just always have to stick with your friends and stay in groups and really watch what you're drinking."

Anyone with information was urged to call 911. To leave an anonymous tip, call 805-681-4171

Additional details about the attack were not immediately available.

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