Campus sex assaults: Most UD cases not prosecuted

Editor’s note: This story is part of a special report by the I-Team examining how campus police at Ohio’s universities handle reports of sexual assault. Parts of this series contain detailed descriptions of alleged sexual assaults. We believe these narratives — gathered over several months — are vital for understanding campus sexual assault, and the alleged crimes that led to no charges being filed. Read the entire “Campus Sex Assaults” series here.

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University of Dayton police investigated eight rape cases in 2014 and 2015, according to an analysis of police records by this newspaper. Only one led to criminal charges being filed by the end of 2015 and the suspect pleaded down to a lesser sex crime and was given probation and required to register as a sex offender.

Another case led to last year’s high-profile suspension of UD basketball player Dyshawn Pierre.

Here are other cases that never led to an arrest:

Nov. 2, 2014

After indulging in shots of alcohol and beer at Milano’s, the 21-year-old female UD student tried making her way to a friend’s apartment. She said she drunkenly walked into the wrong apartment and passed out on a couch.

When she woke up, a man was on top of her, pulling off her pants, she said. She told police she was stripped naked and raped.

She remembers putting her pants back on before leaving the apartment, stumbling down the hallway and falling asleep on her friend’s floor.

The student went to Miami Valley Hospital the next day. Hospital staff called police, but she said she only wanted medical attention, not a police investigation. The next day she changed her mind and called UD police.

Police interviewed the male student, who said she knocked on his door and that he had asked her about having sex after letting her in. “She told him OK,” police wrote in a report.

He later said she fell asleep as they were making out, but that she woke up before they had sex. He said he did not believe she was drunk.

“It was late and she was tired,” he said of why she passed out.

On March 3, 2015, the Montgomery County prosecutor’s office dropped the case.

Sept. 27, 2014

He says everything was consensual, but that doesn’t explain her text messages to friends:

“I need this kid out of my bed”

“he won’t get off me”

“this kid would not (expletive) leave me alone. I don’t know what to do.”

She told police she and a friend met the guy at a party and he followed them home. As she was texting, she said her friend was passed out and he was molesting her in her bed. Then she said he climbed into her bed and sexually assaulted her after she said “no.”

It took the women several days to come to terms with what happened and tell their resident assistant.

Both said they did not want him “to do what he did to anyone else,” a campus police report says.

But both later changed their minds and on Oct. 6 emailed police and said they didn’t want to press charges.

On Oct. 14, 2014, the case was closed after the Montgomery County prosecutor’s office declined to press charges.

UD responds

“The safety of our campus is our top priority. University police investigate all cases to the extent they can, for the protection of our campus community and the community at large. Whether an individual is fully pursued through the criminal justice system is a decision for the prosecutor. If a victim does not want to prosecute, our ability to pursue a criminal case is limited,” said UD officials in a statement to this newspaper.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck responds

“We do not disclose the specifics of cases in which criminal charges are not filed due to insufficient evidence at the time of filing,” Heck said in a statement to this newspaper.

“Generally speaking, in cases of alleged sexual assaults, whether on a school campus or not, it is at times difficult to determine factually what occurred due to an absence of witnesses or insufficient evidence; often there is alcohol use by the victim, the suspect, and witnesses to the extent that no one is able to give a factual account of what occurred; sometimes the facts change between the initial report and the completion of the investigation; there are occasions when the complaining witness refuses to cooperate; and, cases where the victim reports the interaction was actually consensual.

“When no charges are approved in a criminal case, it is because at the time of the filing, there is insufficient evidence that a felony crime was committed.”

>> RELATED: Mary’s story highlights barriers to convicting alleged campus rapes

>> IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION: 79 cases, 5 arrests, 0 rape convictions

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