UPDATE: Suspect in custody following rape at Paine College - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

UPDATE: Suspect in custody following rape at Paine College

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Less than 36 hours after raping a student in the bathroom of a dormitory at Paine College, The Richmond County Sheriff's Office announced18-year-old Jarius Dantzel has been taken into custody.

"Doing a canvas of the dorm, and unattended book bag was found, which contained paperwork that later linked us to the suspect," said Sheriff Richard Roundtree.

Dantzel was found at a home four miles away from campus. Investigators say after a brief pursuit he was arrested.

Even though the suspect has been caught, Paine College students are still worried about their safety.

"I just don't feel safe anymore."

One student, who was too afraid to go on camera, says she lives in the dorms, and it could've been her.

"It could've been anybody. I mean, I stay in the dorm too."

This is actually the second time Dantzel has broken into that same dorm! Back in November he hid in a student's room while she went to the bathroom. When she got back into bed, he attacked her. She was able to fight him off and he got away. And just last month Dantzel was a suspect wanted in a home invasion. Then he demanded money and sex from the victim. She was not injured.

With a new chief of campus safety in place, Paine College is working to secure the school so an incident like this will not happen again.

 

UPDATE: Deputies confirm 18 year old Jairus Dantzler is in custody following a reported rape at Paine College. The investigation in to the rape is an ongoing investigation.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office will be holding a news conference at 2pm Friday to discuss the latest developments in the investigation.

FOX54 will be at that news conference and will be tweeting updates and will have the latest here at wfxg.com and tonight on FOX54 News at 10pm.

UPDATE:  Paine College and the surrounding Augusta community are shaken up after a student was raped on campus around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. Paine College held a press conference Thursday afternoon regarding the school's safety procedures.

"The school has a very good track record in history when it comes to protecting our students," said Brandon Brown, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.  

A track record that took a turn for the worst early Thursday morning when a man entered the Graham Hall Dormitory, an all women's residence hall, and sexually assaulted a woman inside the first floor bathroom.

"We don't want to get into a lot of detail because we don't want to do anything to hinder the investigation at this time," said Chief Joseph Nelson of Paine College Campus Safety.  

The investigation is being conducted by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office and very little is being said about the specifics of the incident however school officials assure that the school has an effective safety plan.

"We do have measures in place for our students to immediately contact campus safety," said Brown.  "We have 24 hour patrol where our officers actually patrol the campus around all of the perimeters. We also have video surveillance on campus that runs 24 hours a day."

FOX54 was not able to talk to students on-camera but we did hear from a group of students who are upset about the incident and held a meeting Thursday night to discuss what happened. Some students say they feel the school focuses more on the image of the college rather than keeping it safe.

However, when FOX54 asked school officials if students have ever felt unsafe, they said campus safety is a continuing process.

"It's an on-going process," said Brown. "It's just not a hit and miss; you have to continue to prepare the institution of things that may occur so it's an on-going process as we protect our students and community."

ORIGINAL STORY: Richmond County deputies are investigating a reported rape on the campus of Paine College.

Lt. Calvin Chew tells FOX54, deputies responded to the call early Thursday morning around 1:30. A female student living in Graham Hall says she was raped in a first floor bathroom of the dorm by an unknown male suspect. 

The victim was transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center for treatment.  The suspect is described as a black male with bad acne about 18 to 20 years old. The victim says he is about 5'8" and weighs about 150-160 pounds. The suspect was wearing a purple hooded sweatshirt when the reported assault happened. 

Officials say the investigation is still in its early stages and more information will be released when available.  Anyone who may have seen anything or who has any information is asked to contact the Criminal Investigative Division at 706-821-1020 and ask for a Violent Crimes Supervisor.

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