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      UT Brownsville students feel safe despite dormitory rape

      Word about a rape at the Casa Bella Residential Living dormitory at the University of Texas at Brownsville, spread quickly across campus.

      UTB Police arrested student Abel Gutierrez on Tuesday and charged him for aggravated sexual assault.

      Campus Police Chief John Cardoza said the female victim made the outcry Monday, claiming she told Gutierrez to stop but he proceeded to rape her.

      Student Leah Russell heard about the incident from fellow soccer players who live at the 103-unit university dormitory.

      Despite the criminal allegations, Russell said she's not in fear living at the dorms or visiting friends there.

      "I don TMt think any of them (feel unsafe) to be quite honest, Russell said. Before (the complex) was owned by the school, there was a lot more(crime) that went on here, but (not) since the school (owns) it."

      Eduardo Guillen had just dropped-off a friend at the complex Friday, and said he TMs never heard his friends express concern for their safety.

      "She says she feels safe, she says that she's fine all the time," Guillen said.

      Guillen himself feels secure on campus since, there's campus police all over the place all the time.

      Casa Bella staff member Carlos Gutierrez said the alleged rape was an isolated incident.

      "We have (gate) codes, we have security, we have campus police, Guillen said. There's also resident advisors (and) the police is here almost all night."

      When the university bought the apartments, according to Gutierrez, they implemented strict rules which have nearly eliminated all crimes.

      Some of those rules include, "no alcohol, no smoking, no co-ed living after (midnight), no co-ed guests after (midnight), and checks to every room constantly, Guillen said.

      University officials have not released the exact time the incident took place at the dorm.

      They add, they cannot comment on specifics in this case due to student laws.

      However, according to the student code of conduct, Gutierrez could be expelled from the school for the alleged crime.