After fleeing horrors in their native countries, some refugees in Columbus said their American Dream is turning into a nightmare, in part because of where they live. Advocates for the Bhutanese/Nepali community said a report of a gang rape at an apartment complex on the northeast side highlights the problems in the neighborhood.
Yolanda Board, with the North Community Counseling Center, serves refugees. Earlier this month, she had to assist a woman who told police she was gang-raped at the apartments.
“This client was barged in on by four individuals, four men, and was subsequently raped and robbed,” Board said.
Board said conditions at the complex, The Commons at Victoria Village, are unsafe and the rape claim is highlighting that.
“We’re aware of years, in excess of a decade of incidents of outright negligence,” she said.
Her group claims there are health and safety issues, including rodents and a lack of proper locks on doors to common areas and apartments.
“Anybody walking off the street can just walk in there, sleep in the hallway, or do whatever,” Board said.
A Columbus Police spokesman said the rape is being investigated but there are no arrests at this time. Board met with police Wednesday and said she was told officers want to help connect the group to code enforcement officials to remedy the situation, but no date has been set for that program to start.
The complex is operated by Cordoba Real Estate Group. Emails to the company were not answered today.