NOVA sex assaults: Campus police step up patrols

STERLING, Va. (WJLA) - The Loudoun campus of Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling is on high alert after a string of recent attacks targeting female students.

According to police, a female student reported that on Monday between 7:30 and 8 p.m., a man approached her while she walked to a bus stop near campus. She said the man started talking to her and then tried to hug and kiss her.

Officials also say that a different woman reported a similar incident 30 minutes earlier, though the attack happened on a sidewalk near the north parking lot.

A third incident of sexual assault also happened on Oct. 17 on NOVA's Annandale campus, but officials are unsure if it's related to the incidents in Loudoun County.

“Yeah, I’m very comfortable on this campus, so hearing that happened is very nerve-wracking,” says Elizabeth Hoang, a student.

Hoang and Meghan Sharon, another student, were both especially surprised to hear that the assaults happened at an hour when campus can be busy.

“It could have happened to me and I was just scared," Sharon says.

Both victims have given similar descriptions of the suspect, who is described as a white or Middle Eastern man with short, dark hair.

The school is now working with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office to catch the suspect and to set up patrols on and near campus.

“I have night classes, so I’m going to ask a cop to walk me to my car,” says one student.

“I really hope they catch the person because it’s a shame what’s going on here on campus,” says Hoang.