UPDATE: 16-year-old charged in aggravated rape at Lee University - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: 16-year-old charged in aggravated rape at Lee University

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UPDATE: The Cleveland Police Department has made an arrest in the sexual assault case at Lee University.

A 16-year-old male has been charged with aggravated rape, according to court documents. Police originally said the suspect was 17.

Court documents explain that the victim told officers the suspect threatened her with a knife and told her he wanted to have sex with her.

Police found two knives at the Mayfield Annex, the documents said.

A friend of the suspect told officers that he had loaned the teen a knife, court documents continued. The friend's description of the teen matched the person officers were looking for.

Police spoke with the suspect's parents who said he had had not been home all day and was considered a runaway.

Officers were able to find the teen and take him into custody.

“Thanks to a collective effort between the Cleveland Police investigators, Lee University Campus Security and the District Attorney’s Office, the suspect was swiftly identified, located and arrested,” the department said.

Stay with Channel 3 as we continue to learn more about this developing story.


PREVIOUS STORY: An email from Lee University President, Dr. Paul Conn to students gives a description of the suspect in Sunday's sexual assault. 

The information given by the Cleveland Police Department describes the suspect as in his mid-20s, African-American, about 5'4", and 140 pounds, with short hair with bleached tips. 

If anyone has any information please call the Cleveland Police Department.


PREVIOUS STORY: A report of a sexual assault over the weekend at Lee University has students on alert.

The investigation has now been turned over to the Cleveland Police Department.

Campus security says the suspect has not been identified yet, so they're encouraging everyone to be vigilant.

A female student was reportedly assaulted at the Mayfield Annex.

She told police she was in the ceramics room alone when a male approached her with a knife demanding sexual activity.

Megan Echols is a freshman and says she was notified via email about the assault. Echols lives across the street from the Annex and says she's shocked by the news but still feels safe.

“Things happen and I wouldn't say it's a reflection of the university itself, it's just unfortunate in the world we live in. We have to be well aware of our surroundings,” said Echols.

Joseph Mbemba is a sophomore and says when he found out about the attack he immediately thought about his female friends at the school. He says he sent a text letting them know he's available if any of them need help.

“Hey, this happened I didn't want you to be scared or anything, but if you're ever walking by yourself at night just text me,” said Joseph Mbemba as an offer to his friends.

Both students say they often take extra precautions when walking through campus. They try to use the buddy system and know their surroundings.

“I think it's highly important to be aware of even the next street over because the campus itself is very safe,” said Echols.

For many students who live on campus their resident assistant is able to help with safety concerns.

Matthew Brinkman, director of campus security, says if a student doesn't feel safe, an officer can escort them to where they need to go.

Brinkman says other security measures have already been put into place since the incident.

“Immediately have brought in extra personnel which we will keep there especially through the night hours,” Matthew Brinkman said. “They will not only patrol that area but be walking through the buildings.”

Brinkman says Lee University has an extremely low crime rate.

They typically have about one incident a year.

Cleveland police will continue to investigate the suspect in this case.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.

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