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SU students sue apartments over racist attack

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BATON ROUGE - Two students from Southern University filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming the managers of an apartment complex near LSU attacked them and called them racial slurs after the students tried to lease an apartment there.

Jasmine Edwards and Demonya Williams named Courtyard Orleans Apartments, apartment manager Kortney Rayborn and her husband Chris Rayborn in the suit.

"I have random nightmares sometimes," Edwards said. "Both of us have sporadic moments throughout the day where we can't stop crying."

Edwards and Williams claim in their suit that on Dec. 5 they tried to lease an apartment at Courtyard Orleans but were turned away by Kortney Rayborn. As they were leaving the girls said her husband started taking pictures of their vehicle. The students said when they approached him he got angry and started calling them racial slurs.

Williams said she started recording Rayborn with her cell phone and followed him back into the apartment office to confront him about his actions. At that point she said he hit her and started choking her. The cell phone hit the ground but continued recording audio.

"Once I was recording him he turned around and he hit me in the face, and then the next thing I remember he was choking me," Williams said.

The students said Kortney Rayborn then pointed a gun at both women, and left the room to get a pit bull which she commanded to attack them. The dog bit Williams several times before the students could get away and call police.

Officers with Baton Rouge Police charged Kortney Rayborn with aggravated assault and battery, including using a dog as a weapon. Chris Rayborn was charged with simple battery.

The students are seeking damages for pain and suffering from the attack and to pay for their medical expenses.

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