No Charges Filed In Case Of Athens Online Video


UPDATED: Monday October 28, 2013 5:56 PM

An image of a public sex act on a street in Athens made its way online and around the world, sparking outrage and debate.

The prosecutor now says it was not rape.

Those images were posted all over social media within minutes of the incident on October 12.

Since then, emotions have been running high on and around the campus of Ohio University.

The legal case is now closed.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says the female accuser had no recollection of the incident seen by not only bystanders, but thanks to social media, the entire internet.

"She learned about this Sunday approximately 4:30 when her roommates had seen this on social media, came and told her, and then she reported it shortly after that," said Blackburn.

Blackburn says witnesses and videos allowed investigators to reconstruct much of the night, including the male and female meeting at a bar and drinking together before heading to Court Street, where they drew a crowd of onlookers with the public display.

“The female was responsive during the video, has a smile on her face at one time, grabbed the back of the male's head at another time,"  said Blackburn. "At one time, she is asked by the male whether or not he should stop because they're building a crowd. Both the suspect and a witness report this conversation took place, and she said ‘No, go ahead continue.’"
     
From there, Blackburn says the man and woman, both 20-year-old Ohio University students, walked down the street to his apartment where they spent three hours.

Blackburn says video shows her walking ably and freely, apparently aware and responsive.

"The issue is whether or not he knew that she had no ability to consent. So, if you by looking at the video, by talking to the witnesses, by the the fact that people saw them interact, clearly, a reasonable person would think that she was not intoxicated beyond the ability to consent."
     
Blackburn says he hopes the case offers a lesson in personal responsibility and the incomplete stories told in 140 characters or less.

"We have jumped to conclusions about what was going on. We have attacked those who made posts or took pictures of this incident because they didn’t help a woman who was being raped. Again, a grand jury found after hearing evidence from multiple witnesses that no rape occurred."

The name of the male involved in this case has never been made public.

10TV did reach out to the female accuser, but she did not want to comment.

Ohio University released the following statement:

Regardless of the Grand Jury’s determination following the criminal investigation, Ohio University is mandated by federal law to respond to allegations such as those that arise out of the incident that occurred during Homecoming weekend on Court Street. The health and safety of our community is of utmost importance.

Ohio University is following its own internal policies and procedures to investigate the circumstances related to the incident. While the details of that investigation are not public, the policies and procedures require careful consideration when we receive reports of alleged sexual misconduct.

Each of us has a responsibility as a contributing member of the community to understand how to recognize behavior that is unsanctioned and unlawful and then become empowered to address it. Respect for ourselves and respect for the other members of our University family is a value that we regard highly.

OHIO UNIVERSITY
University Communications and Marketing
Katie Quaranta, Communications Specialist

PREVIOUS STORIES

Witness Gives His Account Of Alleged Rape Near Ohio University  - http://is.gd/hcHWKN

Athens Prosecutor To Consider Charges In Ohio University Rape Case- http://is.gd/omDFWO

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