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APD: sites link wrong student to alleged rape
The Athens Police Department confirmed Monday that Ohio University student Rachel Cassidy is not the woman in the alleged rape that took place Uptown during Homecoming Weekend.
Cassidy, a sophomore studying journalism who was falsely linked to the incident by website forums, filed a complaint citing “telecommunications harassment” with APD at 3:16 p.m. Monday.
Police then closed the case immediately, citing jurisdictional issues.
The narrative in a police report states that Cassidy notified APD that she was misidentified as the victim of an alleged sexual assault that occurred in front of Chase Bank, 2 S. Court St., on Oct. 12.
The department, for the first time, was able to confirm that Cassidy is not the woman involved with the rape complaint because that information is no longer pertaining to an ongoing investigation now that Cassidy’s complaint has been closed.
OU Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones told The Post on Saturday that Cassidy is “100 percent” not the student involved.
Also on Monday, Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn met with APD officials to discuss and review the evidence from the alleged rape.
“We had a productive meeting and the investigation continues,” Blackburn said in an email.
He declined to comment on whether it’s been determined if the case will be brought before a grand jury, whether he felt the evidence was sufficient to proceed with charges or if there is a timetable for the case.
However, this is standard procedure for a case such as this, said Robert Toy, former Athens County Prosecutor and current local defense attorney.
Everything from what they ate for breakfast on Friday morning to who they were texting following the incident could be evidence Blackburn is seeking, Toy said.
“Until I had all of that information, I wouldn’t be satisfied with it,” Toy said. “That’s how things get done. You want to find out everything.”
He added that both the man and the woman could be at risk for charges.
“The standard is: Are you able to give consent?” Toy said. “Certainly one beer is not going to be a situation where you wouldn’t be able to consent to some type of social interaction. The line is going to be drawn by a jury.”
He added, if indeed someone is so intoxicated that they’re incapacitated and someone has sex with them, it’s an obvious rape.
“But, if two people meet in the bar, and they both have one alcoholic beverage, and they’re attracted to each other and they both go home and have sex, and then they walk away and they’re happy and they text and talk on the phone about meeting, that would indicate that there was some consent,” Toy said.
Toy has frequently dealt with cases similar to this in the past.
“At least twice a year, I get a person, usually a young man, who gets accused of rape,” Toy said. “Quite frankly, a lot of those are false, and I’ve dealt with those situations before in a jury trial.”