CRIME

3 NOVA campus sex assaults reported

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STERLING, Va, (WJLA) - The Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling is on high alert. Officers in cars and on foot are patrolling parking lots and walkways in light of recent attacks targeting female students.

According to police, a female student reported that on Monday between 7:30 and 8 p.m., a stranger approached her while she walked to a bus stop very close to campus.

She said the man started talking to her, then hugged and kissed her.

Officials also say that a different woman reported a similar incident that very same night, though this attack happened on a sidewalk near the north parking lot.

A third incident of sexual assault also happened on Oct. 17 on NOVA's Annandale campus, but officials are unsure if it's related to the incidents in Loudoun County.

While the victims say they weren’t physically injured, students worry that the attacks could escalate.

"Just walking around on a daily basis, that could happen to anybody," says student Lilly Jaraha. "That's really terrifying... I thought that all the students were safe around campus, but now I'm really scared whether or not I have to carry my mace to classes."

Police are offering escorts to anyone concerned about their safety, and the increase in police presence has been a relief for some.

"They've been around all day, everywhere; so that really makes us feel safe because, you know, they are around," NOVA student Vida Sarpong said.

Anyone with any information Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at 703-777-0475.

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