Oklahoma college in the middle of two separate rape investigations a week apart

TONKAWA, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma college is in the middle of two separate rape investigations.

The sexual assaults happened just under a week apart inside the dorms at Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) in Tonkawa.

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The reports of two rapes inside dorms on campus have some students on edge.

“I think after hearing what happened, it is kind of a concern to me. But I do think there are a lot of precautions being taken. And I think that we do have one of the safer campuses that I’ve heard of,” said Kira Pendleton, Northern Oklahoma College student.

Tonkawa Police told KFOR last week a college student reported she was sexually assaulted inside a dorm on campus at NOC.

A day and a half later, 23-year-old Jamison Sylestine was arrested.

Police said the victim and suspect know each other, but Sylestine does not attend NOC.

“We gave her resources and programs available to her as a victim of a sexual assault,” said Nicholas Payne, Tonkawa Police Chief.

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Four days later in a different dorm, a second rape was reported.

Investigators stress the two cases are not related.

Tonkawa police have a suspect, but he has not been arrested yet.

“There’s evidence at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation that we’re having to process, the SANE exam, things of that nature. Also interviews that need to be conducted. But the affidavit is in the hands of the District Attorney’s Office. And we’re waiting move forward from there on the second one,” said Payne.

School officials confirmed with KFOR that suspect is a student.

They also said safety is a top priority on their campus.

“This is a very safe campus… We do have the resources available. We have access to counseling and we definitely would connect them to the police first… We have a whole list of people that are considered campus safety authority, and they could refer to those people and then those people,” said Clark Harris, President of Northern Oklahoma College.

Tonkawa Police said this is not common for NOC.

“I don’t believe we’ve been contacted by the college for an incident like this in two or three years,” said Payne.

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Sophomore Kira Pendleton said she’s now staying extra cautious.

“It’s definitely had me on edge, so I make sure I’m with someone,” said Pendleton.

Police said both victims know their alleged rapist.

Sylestine is facing rape and kidnapping charges.

At this time, no one has been arrested in the second case.

The second suspect would be arrested for rape in the first degree and forcible sodomy.

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