Blackburn will not press charges in alleged rape on Court Street case

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Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, in a press conference Monday, said a grand jury found that probable cause did not exist to charge any party from the alleged rape on Court Street during Homecoming Weekend.

Information from the Athens Police Department’s investigation shows that a 20-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman, both Ohio University students, drank at an Uptown bar, according to a release from the prosecutor’s office. This is apparently the first public acknowledgment from officials that the man involved was an OU student.

"A reasonable person would think that she was not intoxicated beyond the ability to consent," Blackburn said.

Blackburn, in one of the most detailed accounts of the alleged rape given by a public official, described the event as follows:

The couple left after closing and began kissing at several locations moving from North Court Street to South Court Street.

At one point, the man and woman were chased from the hood of a car while kissing, and at approximately 3 a.m. Oct. 12, they stopped in front of Chase Bank, 2 S. Court St., where the male performed sex acts on the female.

The female was responsive, smiling and grabbing the back of the man’s head.
During the act, the man asked the woman if he should stop because a crowd was building behind them; she answered no. Independent witness confirmed this.

After leaving the bank, the two were seen on video voluntarily entering the man’s apartment. They arrived just after 3:30 a.m. and left at 6:30 a.m. The man then walked the woman home and provided her with his cell phone number via text message.

Lab results show the woman’s system was clean of any date rape drug. Neither party was aware that the sex acts were videotaped.

The case spotlights the dangers of social media, Blackburn said, adding that social media spread false rumors — including falsely identifying an OU student as the woman involved — and permanently documented the choices these two students made.

jj360410@ohiou.edu

@JoshJame

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