Cleveland: Rape alleged at 'Occupy Cleveland'

6:31 PM, Oct 18, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Police are investigating the claim of a 19-year-old Cleveland woman that she was raped in a tent Saturday at "Occupy Cleveland."

The woman attends Summit Academy in Parma, a school for young people with educational abilities like Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism and hyperactvity.

She described what allegedly happened to her to a teacher, which led to a police report being made Monday.

The school declined comment on the student or incident and referred questions to a spokesman for the group that owns the school.

The girl alleges that she was at Occupy Cleveland Saturday night. She claims "rally personnel" told her to share a tent with the suspect, due to a shortage of tents.

The suspect allegedly said his name was "Leland." She claims she went to sleep and awoke to find "Leland " molesting her.

A rape kit was taken and an examination was performed at MetroHhealth Medical Center's Emergency Room.

Occupy Cleveland has been remarkably trouble-free, with protesters and police getting along and police making donations to the cause.

We were told the group does not make tent "assignmments " and that no one was familiar with either the alleged victim or the suspect.

Occupy Cleveland Spokeswoman Erin McCardle read a prepared on-camera statement after reading a police report provided by Channel 3.

She had not heard about the incident.   

She said, "This is a very serious allegation and we are cooperating with the Cleveland Police Department fo find out what actually occurred."

The group has a tent city on a sidewalk just off Public Square.

Some members stay awake on a "Nightwatch" program for security reasons and is seeking counselors from community members to deal with any emotional impact of the alleged incident.

The alleged victim lives with roommates in a home in Cleveland.

Her mother is recovering from a stroke.

Channel 3 Political Correspondent Tom Beres will have more on this story starting at 6 tonight.



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