OU student linked to alleged rape on Court Street

APD have seen screenshot from Instagram


An initial Athens Police report released Tuesday revealed the woman who filed a rape complaint Sunday after a video of the incident circulated on Instagram is an Ohio University student.

She claims the man involved was a stranger, according to the report, which states the incident occurred on South Court Street between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday.

The narrative stated the student, 20, reported to police that she had nonconsensual sexual conduct with a male. Alcohol is believed to have been involved.

The woman’s name was redacted from the report, and The Post does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The offense listed, rape, is a first-degree felony and carries a jail sentence of three to 11 years, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

The woman filed just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday, after a video, allegedly showing a man performing oral sex on her on a sidewalk in Uptown Athens, circulated on Instagram. Popular local Twitter accounts caused a frenzy Sunday evening when screenshots of the video were posted. Screenshots seem to indicate the event taking place in front of Chase Bank, 2 S. Court St.

Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said the department has identified those involved in the incident but no charges were filed as of press time.

“Yes, we have all people involved, at least as far as the allegation of sexual assault is concerned,” Pyle said. “The two people involved have been identified and have been cooperating in the investigation.”

He added that it’s hard to say whether those who posted videos online will be facing any charges, and that he doesn’t believe there is any footage available from cameras located on Court Street that would have the crime depicted on it.
As of Tuesday, the case has not been brought to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office, spokesman Dan Tierney said.

DeWine played a major role in the Steubenville rape case, which involved members of a high school football team publishing footage of a rape online.
But this case is a first for Athens, Pyle said.

“I think it’s happened other places,” he said. “Obviously, Steubenville comes to mind, but each case has to be judged on its own merits. This case may share some similarities, but it is also distinct and has to be handled as such.”

As of press time, Athens police hadn’t informed OU officials of the incident.
Still, Martha Compton, director of OU’s Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, said her office could still have a joint investigation of the incident with the OU Office of Institutional Equity.

“We would investigate the matter with both parties and any witnesses that were around ... and we could use that to try and find out if a violation took place based upon the evidence,” Compton said. “We receive information from a variety of sources. The police are only one of them.”

Any student, faculty or staff member can file a complaint or provide information to the office, she said, adding that the university, by law, is obligated to investigate any alleged sexual misconduct.

Compton declined to comment on whether she was made aware of who specifically was involved — or whether the male involved is a student.

“We may or may not be able to get information depending upon the circumstances, but we will always investigate,” Compton said. “Any info we would get, we would follow up on.”
 

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