Women allegedly drugged, assaultedJAMESTOWN - The Jamestown Police Department is investigating three reports of suspicious activity in which different women were drinking at local bars, passed out and at least two of them had sex without their knowledge.
By: Katie Ryan The Jamestown Sun, Worthington Daily Globe
JAMESTOWN - The Jamestown Police Department is investigating three reports of suspicious activity in which different women were drinking at local bars, passed out and at least two of them had sex without their knowledge.
The third woman became nauseous after drinking and was taken home. She has no memory between 1 a.m. and 9 a.m. that day, according to Police Chief Dave Donegan.
The three incidents occurred at at least two different locations within the last several months, Donegan said, and date rape drugs may have been involved.
Mary Thysell, director of the Safe Shelter in Jamestown, said people can protect themselves by not letting other people handle their drinks — not even when dancing, smoking or using the bathroom.
“You never, ever, ever take a mixed drink from anyone but the bartender,” Thysell said.
Symptoms of date rape drugs — the most common are GHB (gamma hydroxybutric acid), rohypnol (flunitrazepam) and ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride) —include nausea, drowsiness, unconsciousness, memory loss, dream-like feeling, sight problems and breathing problems, Donegan said.
“If you feel like you’re getting really drunk really fast, get yourself out of there,” said Kali Henke, Sexual Assault Response Team coordinator.
Some victims of sexual assault don’t realize they’ve been assaulted until the next morning or sometime after. The victims can tell because some of their clothes are missing, not on or on wrong. Some women feel vaginal soreness and in some cases, the woman gets pregnant, Henke said.
“Short-term memory loss is associated with almost all of them (the date rape drugs),” she said.
Sometimes those memories come back, Henke said, and sometimes not.
If date rape drugs weren’t involved, alcohol can still cause blackouts and memory loss, Donegan said. Even if a victim drank alcohol, he or she is not at fault for being assaulted, he said.
Although three have been reported, it’s safe to assume more have occurred, Thysell said. Statistically, about 10 occur for each sexual assault that is reported, she said.
If you think you or someone you know has been drugged and has had sexual contact without knowing it, contact police, Donegan said. Date rape drugs can stay in the body for 12 to 72 hours depending on the drug.
Do not urinate, douche or change clothes, he said. Victims can remain anonymous if they choose.
Feelings of shame, guilt, fear and shock are normal, he said.
If you or someone you know has experienced a similar incident, contact the police department at 252-1000, 252-2114 or 911. The sooner the incident is reported, the better, Donegan said.
Victims can also contact the sexual assault nurse examiner at 252-1048, Henke said, to talk to a medical professional without going through law enforcement. The caller will leave a number and the nurse examiner will call back, Henke said. The caller can remain anonymous.
Handouts on date rape drugs are available at the Law Enforcement Center.