By Alexis Allen, NSU Student
Cierra Demetria Leonard attended Grambling State University in the fall of 2015 with the intentions of meeting new people and studying hard. Coming from a home with pretty strict parents, Cierra knew right from wrong and how to look after herself. School was going smooth for Cierra. She kept up with her studies, made new friends and even met a boy that she started to take interest in. It was all good until the night of February 20, 2016.
She had been talking to this guy (let’s call him Ken) since September of 2015. They have been texting, FaceTiming and even ate together in the school’s cafeteria but she never went to his dorm room and never invited him to hers. It’d been months of being friends so Cierra finally decided to let Ken come over to her room and hang out. This turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes that Cierra could have ever made.
“He was on the basketball team and he was very popular. He was charming and so sweet. He would text me cute stuff throughout the day. He always made me smile,” Cierra describes Ken. “I started to trust him. We were talking for so long we actually became really good friends.”
Ken came over to Cierra’s room and disregarded her wish for him to sit at her desk and not on her bed. Instead, Cierra sat at her desk while Ken sat on her bed. They talked for a little while and then Ken became aggressive.
“He kept asking me why I wouldn’t come sit with him on the bed and why I was acting like I didn’t want him over. I didn’t mind that he was over, I just didn’t want him to think that I wanted to have sex with him. I wasn’t a virgin but I pledged to wait until marriage so I didn’t want to give him the wrong idea,” Cierra told me.
Ken then proceeded to interrogate Cierra on why she wouldn’t sit on the bed.
“After he kept asking me why I wasn’t sitting on the bed, he got up and tried to pick me up and put me on the bed. I laughed at first but I really wanted him to stop. I told him to stop and to put me down but he wouldn’t,” Cierra told me. Ken threw Cierra on the bed and begin to pin and push her down. “I tried to fight him off but I got scared so I just froze in fear.”
Cierra recalls just lying there as Ken proceeded to have sex with her without her consent. “I was torn apart. I was in disbelief that something like that happened to me. I would always say that I would never get raped and I never imagined it happening to me the way it did. I tried to report him but since he was on the basketball team, the police officers asked me if I could just forget about what happened.” Cierra told me. “After being told that, I went to a very dark place. I felt like no one was there for me.”