Post Classifieds

More details surface regarding on-campus rape

By Christopher Whitten
On March 28, 2012

  • Kristin Henke, athletic academic counselor, advises freshman distance runner Dan Kuhman for the fall semester. Christina Holloway

Several students say the man arrested for allegedly raping a University of Memphis woman on campus Monday was living in an on-campus apartment and masquerading as a student.

Demetrius Winters, freshman health and human performance major, said Cortney Cortez Adkins had been staying with him in the Thomas G. Carpenter Student Housing Complex off and on since February. Campus police arrested Adkins on Monday night after a student reported he had raped her.

Several students said they saw him on campus and at student events, where he posed as a student. Adkins told one student he lived in Carpenter and another that he had to go home to write a paper for class.

"He told me so many lies. He said he was a junior business administration major and lived in Carpenter with his cousin," said Macy Bridgewater, a freshman journalism major who met Adkins about two weeks ago.

Winters, who said he and Adkins referred to each other as cousins, described Adkins as "girl-crazy, but not to the extent that he would rape a girl."

Winters said the empty room next to his has been unlocked since January and Adkins would stay in there sometimes. Winters said he was in his room with a friend at the time of the alleged incident and heard Adkins come in with a woman and go next door, but he didn't hear any screams.  

"They were here for about 10 minutes and then they left," Winters said. "He came back 10 minutes later and was here the rest of the night. I didn't hear no yells or anything."

Director of Public Services Bruce Harber said police got the call around 3 a.m. when the victim told them of the incident that occurred between 12:45 a.m. and 2 a.m.

"The way the report came in ... it was classified as an aggravated assault," Harber said. "We didn't know about the rape until she came in (Monday afternoon) and spoke to us."

Police detained and questioned Adkins at about 7 p.m. Monday, and charged him at about 9 p.m. after he admitted to sexually assaulting the victim.

Harber said a TigerText alert was not issued because he didn't feel there was a threat to the community.

In the 12 years Harber has worked for The U of M, he said almost all of the rape cases on campus involved two people who were acquainted.

"So that poses the question," he said. "Does that create a threat to anyone else in the community? If we had a blatant sexual predator, we would have issued an alert."

Harber said police were also concerned that Adkins could have been tipped off and fled the area if they had issued an alert.

"As we were gathering information about what had happened and who he was, we also learned he had been spending time out of state, several hundred miles away," Harber said.

Winters said he received a call around 10:30 a.m. from police asking about Adkins. He also said friends told him officers were asking about the two.

Police Capt. Kevin Langellier said it wasn't until Adkins was asked for his ID during the interrogation that officers realized he was a registered sex offender.

They didn't have his full name before the arrest, and only knew he was known as "Cortez."

Peter Groenendyk, director of residence life and dining services, said Adkins was not registered as an overnight guest.

"If (Adkins) stayed overnight, it was without our consent and against our policies," Groenendyk said in an email. "We had conducted occupancy and safety checks on the Carpenter unit in question twice during the month of March.  At neither one of those inspections did the staff find any indication of unauthorized residents."

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