Prosecutor: Sexual Assault Investigation At Hocking College Is Not Closed

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The official stance from Hocking College concerning a sexual assault investigation is there was no sexual assault.

“There’s no rape, there’s no charges…the investigation continues,” Hocking College Communications and Marketing Assistant, Michael Brown said. “As far as we know, the story’s over…no rape.”

Last week, 10TV obtained a police report taken by Hocking College police conducting a rape investigation.

According to the report, the alleged victim said she had been drinking at an event and had returned to campus.

She stated that she had forgotten her keys and asked an unknown group of people if they could help her get back into her room.

After that, the victim told police she doesn’t remember anything until she woke up without any clothes on. She added that the males in the room with her were also not wearing any clothes.

10TV confirmed three of the four men accused of playing a role in this incident are Hocking College football players.

10TV contacted the Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, who said the college would have “no idea” of the status of the case and commenting on it is “not their place.”

"Several media outlets have contacted the Prosecutor’s Office claiming to have been told by Michael Brown, Hocking College’s Executive Director, Marketing and Public Community Relations and voice of Hocking College Football, that the investigation is closed.  That statement is false." – Athens County Prosecutor’s Office

Following Tuesday’s interview, Brown contacted 10TV to clarify what he said about the school’s investigation. He said the school has wrapped up its work regarding the rape investigation and has handed all information over to the prosecutor’s office for its ongoing investigation.

Brown also said a Title IX hearing, regarding the sexual assault investigation is ongoing, to determine if anyone violated the school’s code of conduct.

 

Sexual Assault Investigation Has Hocking College Students On Edge

While the issue plays out, some students said it’s still unnerving and a big topic of conversation.

 “I am concerned because this is a school that I really love,” Blake Maynard said.

Freshman Katie Reiderman is another.

“It’s really scary and sad, but I think that those things happen everywhere,” Reiderman said.

But, Hocking College representative Michael Brown said there’s nothing to worry about.

“Many of us have been on campus all weekend,” Brown said. “[We’ve been] meeting with many people and reassuring them we’re safe. Life goes on. Classes start Tuesday.”

Brown added that students and parents should rest easy.

“You can rest assured, we’re safe here,” he said. “It’s a safe campus. We’re in the Hocking Hills. It’s very, very safe.”

VIDEO: Student Concerns

Maynard asked if there’s nothing to worry about, and with a news release about a sexual assault investigation from the college police chief last week, why weren’t students notified?

School policy dictates students and staff immediately be contacted if it concerns safety or health. But all weekend long, students heard nothing.

“I did not receive a text, no,” Maynard said.

Brown said there’s a reason for that.

“We know that’s something a lot of students would have liked to have seen, but what were we going to tell them?” Brown said. “We had no story.”

But even with “no story,” as the college says, students say they’d like to at least know school administrators are aware of a potential problem to put their minds at ease.

“I would much rather know any information than to know no information or to have to go and find it myself,” Maynard said.