Campus sex assaults: Alleged rapes investigated at Wittenberg


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.

…..

Wittenberg University police investigated five sex offenses in 2014 and 2015, two of which were reported as rape or attempted rape.

For its size, the university had more arrests than other universities analyzed by this newspaper.

The university has faced federal investigations in recent years for allegations it under-responded to reported sexual assaults.

The attempted rape case led to an arrest, but the suspect was found not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered into a mental health facility. He was later deported.

Police also arrested a student on sexual assault charges alleged to Springfield police in March.

One alleged sexual assault was not prosecuted:

Aug. 26, 2014

The call came from the victim’s boyfriend, telling law enforcement his girlfriend was sexually assaulted.

Wittenberg police responded with Springfield police, who interviewed the victim. She said a male student (not her boyfriend) came over to watch a movie, during which he tried to kiss her. She said she rebuffed him, but they ended up on a bed.

She told police she told him “no” and told him she would scream, but he didn’t stop. At some point she was able to get up, grab her clothes and leave the room, she told investigators.

No charges were filed.

Wittenberg University police respond

Wittenberg University Police Chief Jim Hutchins said Springfield police assist his department in investigating alleged rapes, though victims have the right to report assaults in such a way that they don’t lead to criminal investigations.

Hutchins, a former Springfield police officer, said he supports the university disciplinary hearing process that allows the university to take action even when there isn’t enough evidence for criminal prosecution.

“I really like the (Title IX) process,” he said. “It guarantees there is an investigation. It guarantees it will be looked at, and if someone’s found to be wrong they will be held accountable.”

These hearings have been criticized by some who say they are unfair to the accused, but sexual assault survivors say that with a criminal justice system that almost never prosecutes accused rapists, it often is the only justice they get.

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

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


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Crash on I-75 south near I-70 leads to arrest
Crash on I-75 south near I-70 leads to arrest

A man was arrested after crashing into a wall on Interstate 75 around 11:20 p.m. Saturday. Derrick Woods, 33, of Columbus lost control of his truck when he took the southbound I-75 ramp from westbound I-70, according to Sgt. Robinson of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Woods’ truck was struck by another vehicle after the initial crash, Sgt. Robinson...
Student of the Week Shawnee High School
Student of the Week Shawnee High School

Name: Melanie Reynolds School: Shawnee High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Extra-curricular: 4-H Camp Counselor Claim to fame/honors: Joining the U.S. Navy Words you live by: “Don’t let today’s troubles bring you down. Don’t let life’s little obstacles keep you from trying. Don’t let your fears keep you from dreaming....
Athlete of the Week Shawnee High School
Athlete of the Week Shawnee High School

Name: Scarlet Koelsch School: Shawnee High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Sports: Volleyball, Swimming Claim to fame/honors: My parents Words you live by: “Nothing comes easy.” Toughest opponent: Myself Biggest influence: My dad Game-day rituals: Think over my goals What’s on your bedroom walls: Tapestry When I’m bored I like to &hellip...
The festival-like Hope over Heroin event will be coming to a Middletown church for the first time
The festival-like Hope over Heroin event will be coming to a Middletown church for the first time

A local church will be hosting Middletown’s second Hope Over Heroin event in early June. Hope Over Heroin organizers said that their outreach event will be held at June 8-9 at Berachah Church adjacent to Lefferson Park. This will be the first time Berachah Church has hosted the event. Middletown and Hamilton last hosted such events in 2014. &ldquo...
Lanes reopen following serious crash on I-75 South in Monroe
Lanes reopen following serious crash on I-75 South in Monroe

All lanes have reopened on southbound Interstate 75 in Monroe and the crash has been cleared. A video sent to this newsroom showed a red SUV with heavy damage to the front. Officials said injuries were reported, but the extent of injuries is unknown. A crash on southbound I-75 in Monroe has slowed traffic. The crash, involving a semi-tractor trailer...
More Stories