‘I know you want this’: Columbia graduate student allegedly sexually assaulted a 19-year-old student

News & Politics

The New York Post reported that a 30-year-old graduate student told a 19-year-old student “I know you want this” as he sexually assaulted her in the building where they both live, according to prosecutors who appeared in Manhattan criminal court on Saturday.

Francois Barre, from France, reportedly waited outside the building for the 19-year-old female victim to appear. He offered to help her carry her groceries up to her apartment. However, he did not grab any of the groceries and instead followed her up to her apartment.

After the two made it inside the door, Barre allegedly “kissed her forcefully on the [back] of her neck and then backed her against the wall and rubbed his body against her so she could not move,” according to Assistant District Attorney Meera Patel.

Shortly after, Barre proceeded to put his hand up the woman’s dress and groped her buttocks and then put his hand down her dress and grabbed her breast, according to the report. Though the victim tried to push Barre away, she was not able to do so, according to the report.

The Post noted that Barre told the woman, “I know you want this. You taste good.”

Barre was reportedly caught on a security camera making his way into the apartment building and leaving a little while later, according to the prosecution.

After the teen called the authorities about the situation, Barre was soon arrested and charged with sexual assault and forcible touching. Following the ordeal, the prosecution asked for an order of protection and $20,000 cash bail.

The Post reported that Barre’s defense attorney, Amanda Barfield, said her client had just completed a graduate degree at Columbia in international relations and would soon be leaving the building he and the victim lived in.

Consequently, Barre has reportedly forfeited his French passport and requested supervised leave, per the report. Barfield said her client just “wants to move out quickly.”

According to the NYPD’s report, rape has increased throughout New York City by 12% in 2024. In 2023, there were a total of 132 reports of rape, and there have already been 148 reports of rape in 2024 alone.

It is still unclear if the victim and Barre had any communication leading up to the attack. It is also unclear if Barre will face jail time if he is found guilty of the charges.

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