Woman sexually assaulted by masked man, Kent police say

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KENT, Ohio-- The Kent Police Department is asking people to be cautious and vigilant following a sexual assault on Thursday.

The victim,  a student at nearby Kent State University, was walking along Holly Drive between the Holly Park Apartments and Horning Road at about 8 a.m. That's when she was attacked by a masked man, police said.

He sexually assaulted her then fled northbound when a car approached, according to a news release.

On Friday, Kent State University issued a safety message to students and staff. It advised members of the community to keep doors locked, walk in groups and have keys ready when in parking lots.

"It's really alarming, especially since it happened at 8 a.m., which is when it's light outside, it's not in the middle of the night when you'd be a little more paranoid. When I walk this area in the middle of the night, if I walk it, I'm on the phone with someone, so like I have, in case something happens, they know where I am," said Jennifer Hivick, Kent State student.

Another student, Andrew Urruita, said "There's just a ton of people who go down this road and it's just weird to hear that there's somebody with a mask out there, it's real unsettling."

The wooded, unpaved road where the attack occurred is a popular short cut for many students who live in the Holly Park apartment complex, as they go to class.

"I walk here all the time, so I mean, I'd be scared if that happened to me 'cause I mean, I'm over here by myself," said KSU student India Pinerio

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent Police Department at 330-673-7732.

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