Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF senior accused of raping freshman in her dorm room

TAMPA — A University of South Florida freshman awoke Wednesday as a man raped her in her dorm room.

Her attacker, officials said, was someone she knew well: USF senior Samuel Cesaire, 23, an overnight guest of her roommate's.

The crime shocked other students. It also spurred the university to talk to students in every dorm Thursday about acquaintance rape and date rape.

The university's residence halls are safe, USF spokesman Michael Hoad said.

Students must swipe their identification cards to open the doors, and each student's ID opens only the doors to his or her residence hall. Visitors must be escorted by students who live in a dorm. Guests of the opposite sex are not supposed to stay overnight.

But USF administrators said the incident is a reason to talk about forms of rape more common than rape by a stranger.

"These are the kinds of things that you have to have community conversations about," Hoad said. "The more you have a community conversation where people start to look out for each other, the safer we'll all be."

The attack took place about 7 a.m. Wednesday in the Kosove apartments, an on-campus complex housing about 254 freshmen.

Startled, the victim pushed Cesaire off and he stopped the attack, police said. Later, she told a resident assistant, who called USF police about 12 hours after the attack.

Cesaire of 18134 Bahama Bay Drive in Tampa was being held without bail Thursday night on two counts of sexual battery of a physically helpless person.

Cesaire is a computer engineering major who started at USF in the fall of 2004. According to state records, his only previous arrest was a 2005 charge of forgery, which was dropped.

Because of the sexual battery charges against him, Cesaire has been suspended and banned from campus, Hoad said.

The victim and her roommate are receiving counseling. The victim is from Tampa but lives in Kosove hall. "She has a lot of friends there," Hoad said.

Thursday morning, three freshmen who live at the hall said they hadn't heard of the attack.

"That's scary," said Renita Singh, 18, of Orlando. She said she had felt safe in Kosove "up until just now."

"Now I'll definitely lock my door and make sure my roommate locks our doors," said Singh, who plans to study computer engineering.

University officials said students should be careful who they invite into their rooms. This week's rape, Hoad said, was "a classic situation in which at least the students involved did not believe this would happen."

USF officials also offer a physical education course each semester teaching students how to defend themselves against rape and have launched a program to teach male students about sexual violence, how it happens and what role alcohol plays.

The rape is the second time in three months that police say a female student has awakened to find a male dorm visitor committing a crime in her room.

In mid October, police said a female student in Beta Hall woke up and saw then-18-year-old Daniel Boliek of Coral Springs in his boxer shorts touching her roommate's face. Boliek is not a USF student but was the guest of a male student in the dorm.

Police said he ran into the hallway, took off his underwear, shoved a resident assistant, punched a police officer, was pepper-sprayed, fondled himself and ran outside, where officers tackled him.

Boliek faces a variety of charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

Such incidents highlight the need for students to recognize they are making adult decisions when they have guests.

"We consider the dorms safe," Hoad said. "In this case, they let him in the door, and behind closed doors it's very hard for us to check at that level."

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Richard Danielson can be reached at Danielson@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3403.

USF senior accused of raping freshman in her dorm room 01/14/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 15, 2010 12:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: Florida most friendly state for retired veterans

    Working Life

    Florida is the nation's best state for military retirees looking for somewhere to settle. That's according to a study released Monday by WalletHub which rated Florida the most friendly when it comes to economic factors, quality of life and health care.

    Veterans watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during training camp in 2016. Florida is the most friendly state for retired veterans according to a new WalletHub study. | LOREN ELLIOTT, Times
  2. Flynn to invoke 5th Amendment, won't hand over documents in Russia probe, source says

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination as he notifies a Senate panel that he won't hand over documents in the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

    In this Feb. 13, 2017 file photo, Mike Flynn arrives for a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The former national security adviser will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday. [Associated Press]
  3. Department store chain from Puerto Rico coming to University Mall

    Retail

    TAMPA — Grand's, a department store chain from Puerto Rico, will open inside the former Dillard's space at University Mall in September.

    Grand's, a department store chain from n Puerto Rico, will open inside the former Dillard's space at University Mall in Tampa in September. Coloring rendering of revamped University Mall.
[CBRE Group]
  4. Rubio on Trump: 'People got what they voted for'

    Blogs

    Marco Rubio says people shouldn't be surprised about the drama flowing from the White House.

  5. Mark Zuckerberg uses Facebook to address rumors he's running for office

    Nation

    NEWPORT, R.I. — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his quest this year to visit every state he hadn't before is about building relationships, not politics.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif. Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post on May 21, 2017, that he's not running for public office. [The Associated Press]