Hallway rape went unreported by neighbors

Surveillance video shows that five to 10 people in the St. Paul apartment building saw a man attack a woman - but did nothing.

The video shows what most witnesses in a St. Paul apartment building apparently didn't tell.

A man beat a woman, removed his pants and sexually assaulted her in a hall, and five to 10 people saw at least part of the attack but did nothing to intervene or help, according to investigators and court documents.

It was only after police were summoned on a report of two drunk people lying in the hall that they learned there had been a rape. Rage Ibrahim, 25, of St. Paul, was charged Thursday with first-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is in Ramsey County jail.

The criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court said the surveillance video showed the woman lying in the hall as early as 1:20 a.m. Tuesday. Police weren't dispatched until almost 90 minutes later.

Residents on the second floor of Afton View Apartments weren't talking much Thursday afternoon. One man wouldn't come to his door. A young woman, with children surrounding her, said: "I don't know anything."

Though the building's resident manager wouldn't provide demographic breakdowns, the tenant list in the entryway is dominated by Somali surnames -- a segment of St. Paul's population that police say is often reluctant to report crimes.

That reluctance is of such concern to police officials that Chief John Harrington has been meeting monthly with Somali elders to encourage community cooperation in criminal matters, police spokesman Tom Walsh said Thursday.

Through Wednesday night, the building in the 300 block of Winthrop Street had generated 63 police incident reports this year, with 19 involving various types of disturbances and 11 being 911 hangup calls.

Tuesday's rape was the first such offense at the building this year, reports show.

According to the complaint, officers found Ibrahim and the woman lying in the hall. Her clothes had been pushed above her waist. He wasn't wearing pants or underwear.

The woman told officers that she didn't know Ibrahim and that he had drugged her and raped her. She was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Officers overheard the woman say she "just wanted to die," the complaint said.

Ibrahim told officers that he and the woman, whom he said was his girlfriend, were drunk and messed up. He maintains that the incident was a misunderstanding, according to Omar Jamal, the executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center who spoke Thursday on Ibrahim's behalf.

"He did not rape her," Jamal said.

According to a search warrant affidavit, investigators talked to one resident in the building who said that a woman had knocked on his door in the middle of the night yelling "call the police!" The man said he didn't open the door or look out. He said he called police, but police said there is no record of that call.

The affidavit also said the surveillance video shows an unknown man approaching Ibrahim and the woman. Ibrahim, who wasn't wearing pants, confronts the man and chases him down the hall.

Differing accounts

According to the complaint, the victim said she had gone to a friend's apartment Monday night and that a man she knew as "Gomay" was there. The three drank together, and when she tried to leave, "Gomay" came after her and assaulted her in the hall.

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