A student at Fordham University was raped last Friday in her off-campus apartment building after leaving a local Bronx bar, police said.
The 20-year-old victim was hanging out at Ziggy’s, a local bar, prior to the attack, friends told Newsday. She left the bar at 2 a.m. and was escorted home by a male friend.
The male friend, who is not being identified, walked the girl into the entrance of her building and then left. The building also has a second entrance, which was locked, and the victim had trouble opening the door, friends told Newsday.
During this time, Mircelino Cortez, the alleged attacker, came after the victim. According to police, Cortez, age 20, was armed with a pipe. He allegedly raped the young woman until a passerby called 911 and police arrived on the scene.
The young woman was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital and is in stable condition.
Cortez, who was arrested, is being charged with rape in the attack, according to Newsday.
According to friends, Cortez was trying to sell AOL CDs to passersby earlier in the evening.
“We had actually seen the guy,” Emily Lalime, who lives in the victim’s building, told Newsday. “He had approached us earlier in the night.”
The attack unsettled some of the young women living in the building.
“This shows you that you can’t let your guard down,” Lalime said in Newsday. “She [the victim] was smart. She had a guy walk her home; she wasn’t alone.”
According to several women who spoke to Newsday, female Fordham students are often harassed when walking to apartments off campus.
Many of the women were shocked, if not surprised, by the attack.
“I always take precautions,” Fordham freshman Jen Komorowski told Newsday. “I never go out after midnight or walk by myself because you just never know.”