Legislator calls for safe havens after rape Monday near Memphis school

Tuesday, Memphis Police continued to investigate a Monday afternoon rape, while one state legislator pushed for a plan that would provide community safe havens.

Monday morning, Memphis police were called to Orleans Avenue, the scene of an attack where a 17-year-old girl was raped. The attack happened across the street from Orleans Elementary School, where hundreds of children spend their day.

Long before Monday's attack, a faction in the Tennessee State Legislature pushed for the Safe and Sound Community Act. The law would increase penalties against those committing crimes near schools, including crime like sex crimes, drug crimes, and gang crimes.

One of those legislators, Rep. G.A. Hardaway of Memphis District 92, said Monday's attack highlighted the need for a greater deterrent.

"Well, it's a shame," he said. "There's a real problem when we've got areas around the school where children can't feel safe. There ought to be some haven for children in this community."

Hardaway said he would once again push the Safe and Sound Community Act next legislative session.

With the proper funding, he said, the act could help improve some neighborhoods.

to email Nick Kenney.