Mass. teen on probation for sex charges to attend college in Ohio

A Massachusetts teen who pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges still plans to attend college in Ohio while on probation and won’t have to register as a sex offender, according to records filed with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to transfer his probation to Ohio.

David Becker, 18, wants to apply to a community college, records say. ODRC officials said he plans to live with family in Cincinnati.

Records say he had been admitted with scholarships to the University of Dayton, but UD “has since rescinded his admission to the college after disposition of this case.”

UD officials won’t say when they rescinded Becker’s admission. The school responded to social media outrage Monday with a tweet saying, “David Becker will not be attending the University of Dayton as a student this year.”

Becker was charged with rape and assault and battery after two women told police they fell asleep after a party and each awoke to find him digitally penetrating them without their consent. Becker denies touching one of the females and told police he took the other’s silence as consent, unaware she was asleep, according to police reports.

Becker pleaded to lesser sexual assault and battery charges. Northhampton (Mass.) Disrict Court Judge Thomas Estes continued the case for two years, giving Becker probation that requires him to attend sex counseling and abstain from drug or alcohol use.

If he complies with the probation, the charges can be cleared from his record. If he doesn’t, he can be convicted of the crimes and face up to 2.5 years in jail for each of the two charges.

If convicted, Massachusetts law gives the judge discretion over whether to require Becker to register as a sex offender. The decision of what level of registration is required is made by a Sex Offender Registry Board.

The request to transfer his probation to Ohio is still being processed, according to state officials. It notes that he is “Not required to register as a sex offender in the state of MA (Massachusetts) because he was not convicted of these charges.”

Ohio officials say they can’t require Becker to register as a sex offender as a condition of probation.

“For a new resident to Ohio to be put on Ohio’s registry, that person would have to have a duty to register on a substantially similar charge in their original state,” said Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. “If they are not on the registry in their original state, they would not be put on the registry in Ohio.”

Law enforcement officials in Massachusetts won’t release a mug shot of Becker. Requests for mug shots sent to the court, the district attorney and the East Longmeadow Police Department were all denied on the grounds that state law prohibits release of mug shots of non-convicted sexual assault suspects.

Becker's case has reminded many of that of Brock Turner, the Oakwood High School graduate who will return to the Dayton area to serve probation after serving three months in jail for sexually assaulting a woman at Stanford University. Turner was convicted, so he will have to register as a sex offender.

Earlier this year, an in-depth investigation by this newspaper found that sexual assaults often go unreported on college campuses. When they are reported, they rarely lead to arrest and almost never lead to a prison sentence.

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