Articles Posted in Sexual Assault

Original Details

Back in 2011, the Obama administration made a directive demanding universities to improve their policies regarding sexual assault claims on campus. In an effort to empower and encourage victims to come forward in the event of a sexual assault, many changes were required of university policy and procedure in how to handle sexual assault complaints. One major change was to empower a single investigator who is a university employee or outside expert to do all of the interviews regarding everyone involved in a sexual assault complaint. This investigator would interview the accused, the accuser, and any other witnesses. This investigator then compiles the results of these interviews into reports and makes recommendations. This approach led to many complaints saying that the accused is not being afforded due process or a right to cross examine their accuser. Many lawsuits against universities were then filed by both survivors of sexual assault as well as men who were falsely accused. The common theme in these lawsuits is that the universities were not handling these cases properly and were not qualified to lead these types of investigations. An-Attorneys-Guide-to-a-Career-in-Law-Pic-300x200

The Changes Implemented

A plastic surgeon out of Toledo, OH with an office in Taylor, MI has been indicted with illegally dispensing controlled substances, aggravated sexual abuse, and sex trafficking. He is accused of drugging multiple women, raping them and recording the acts on camera. He was arrested by the FBI and has been booked at the Lucas County Corrections Center. The doctor is licensed in both Michigan and Ohio and has three offices between both states. His case now goes before a federal grand jury as he has waived his preliminary hearing. He will remain in custody pending his appearance before the federal grand jury. He did not challenge his detention on this court date. stethoscope-1-1080174-m

Original Case Details

The original accusation against this doctor came from a woman who shared that she worked as a high-end escort and engaged in sexual activity for money with the doctor. This event allegedly took place at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Los Angeles back in September of 2016. She alleged that she first performed consensual oral sex on the doctor before dinner but would not allow it to be recorded. After the dinner, she believed she was drugged, raped and recorded without her consent. The woman left the hotel room in the morning and sought the help of a client who was an anesthesiologist who found that the woman tested positive for benzodiazepine in her urine. This drug is a type of tranquilizer. Other women have since made similar accusations against the doctor. The FBI obtained a search warrant and found five thumb drives that allegedly contained 5 different videos of the doctor engaging in sex acts with four different women, who were all unconscious. The FBI also seized large amounts of controlled substances from the doctor which included valium, fentanyl and morphine. The doctor had also received a shipment of ketamine two weeks prior to the first alleged incident. The Assistant United States Attorney handling this case stated in court that they believe they have found over 20 different victims recorded on different devices.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn Police Department is under fire for an alleged cover up involving the reporting of a sexual assault on campus recently. This allegation involves a student claiming that she was sexually assaulted by her instructor in his office in the science faculty building on the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus. It is alleged that the proper protocol was not followed in investigating this case by not taking the alleged victim’s statement and not interviewing the instructor under normal conditions where the police would be able to record the statement with both audio and video. It is not currently known how much the lawsuit is seeking in damages, but it is likely to be a large number. The possibility also remains that the instructor could still be criminally charged if the police and prosecutor’s office come up with enough evidence. Media coverage like this may change the prosecutor’s position on this case. iStock_000023802012_XXXLarge-2-300x200

Original Case Details

University of Michigan-Dearborn police officer William Ashford is the plaintiff in this case. He was suspended allegedly because he was trying to uncover the truth relating to a sexual assault case involving a teacher and student on campus. His lawsuit claims that “he exposed the fact that they intentionally refused to act on the incident and attempted to cover up this wrongdoing.” A University of Michigan-Dearborn student underwent a rape test kit at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti. She claimed that her instructor forced her to perform oral sex on him and subsequently raised her grade after she did as evidenced by an email that allegedly said “the next time you want to work on your grade, you know what we can do.” It is alleged in the suit that her grade was raised from a ‘D’ to a ‘B’ after the assault. It is also alleged that the instructor actually admitted to committing this act but was allowed to resign without any violations and now has found employment at another university.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to accuse someone of sexual assault in today’s society. Many who accuse others of sexual assault do so when they aren’t clear on what actually occurred due to the fact they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or simply made wrongful allegations out of spite or revenge. iStock_000000182036XSmall-300x224

Recently a Roman Catholic priest in Northern Michigan was found not guilty by a jury of allegedly sexually assaulting another priest. According to news reports, Reverend Sylvestre Obwaka was acquitted of sexually assaulting another priest who testified in court that while visiting Obwaka and spending a night in Rogers City at the rectory at St. Ignatius Church, he was sexually assaulted by the priest. Obwaka did not deny sexual contact, however he did maintain the consensual sex took place following a night of drinking.

Obwaka is a native of Kenya and became pastor at St. Ignatius in 2013, although he has been a priest since 2010. Gaylor Bishop Steven Raica, a witness at the three-day trial who reportedly spoke to the accused following the alleged assault said that Obwaka didn’t indicate consensual sex between the two priests. Bishop Raica spoke on the phone with Obwaka, and said he was concerned when the priest admitted he couldn’t recall what occurred between him and the alleged victim.

Dating violence is far more common than most of us think, and often involvessexual assault sexual assault or “rape.”  Whether a couple has been dating for a year or it is a first date makes no difference.  A forced sexual act without the consent of the other person is unlawful, and could result in criminal charges if the alleged victim decides to come forth and report it to law enforcement.  Dating violence in Michigan as well as other states knows no boundaries in terms of age; sexual assault can happen to someone who’s 13, 18, 40, 60, or even older.

In some cases of sexual assault a victim may have been drugged with a “date rape” drug such as Rohypnol, a powerful sedative.  In other cases, those involved in a dating relationship may have engaged in drug activity, drinking alcohol, or other substances that can impair a person’s ability to think rationally.  In many cases of dating violence involving sexual assault, there are no outside factors – it’s simply a case of one person wanting to engage in sex, while the other person doesn’t.  When one party does not consent or give permission to engage in sex (regardless of whether the non-consenting person is male or female), he or she may be the victim of sexual assault or rape.
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Most people who think of sex offenders automatically believe a male is the perpetrator. The fact is, the incidence of sexual violence or assault involving women who are the offenders is growing. While the tendency to commit sexual crimes can emerge in adolescence, many offenses involving teens or adults go unreported, regardless of whether the alleged offender is male or female.

Approximately 9% of youths report they were the victims of some form of sexual violence in a Growing Up With Media national study in 2010 in which information was collected online. The acts committed against these youths included coercive sex, forced sexual contact, attempted rape, and completed rape. Interestingly, the results of the study found that while males were more likely to commit a sex-related offense against a younger victim, offenses in which females were the perpetrators most often involved victims who were older. Additionally, the study concluded that males tend to commit sexual violence at an earlier age than females, which may suggest different developmental courses.

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On Monday, a Knoxville Police Dept. file was released which documents a three-month long investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a woman by a University of Tennessee football player on September 20 of last year. While the player’s name has not been released, he will not face sexual assault charges according to news reports. police-on-the-scene-1172422-m

The woman claimed she had been having drinks at a bar with some friends, and the next thing she was aware of was waking up naked in the bed of a white male who was a stranger; he reportedly asked her to leave his apartment. The woman didn’t remember anything in between, and claimed she had been sexually assaulted.

The woman did have a rape exam two days later, however police were not notified until September 23. Documents in the police file included an email from District Attorney Charme Allen dated December 8 in which the DA declined to prosecute the player. Other documentation in the file revealed that a DNA test showed no identifying matches to the man accused, nor was there any evidence of semen.

In May of this year, 30-year-old Christopher Lee, a former dean’s assistant at St. Charles North christopher-leeHigh School was charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse after engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl at the school.  Lee has pleaded not guilty.  Now his attorney has filed a motion which seeks to allow Lee to assert a mistake-of-age defense.  He is currently free on $50,000 bail.

In Illinois, the legal age of consent is 17, he age the alleged victim was at the time.  Lee’s attorney maintains the case stems from “consensual sex,” however his client is currently unable to use the mistake-of-age defense due to the fact he allegedly committed the crimes he is charged with while in a “position of trust.”  When a case involves a teacher, school employee, or someone who is considered to be in a position of trust, authority, or supervision, the age of consent rises to 18.
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On November 15, a woman alleged that she was sexually assaulted at the home of Tommy Armstrong Jr., Trey Foster, and Jordan Westerkamp, three players for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. According to a recent article at the Journal Star, charges will not be filed by Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly, who said the proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime took place is “simply not there.” iStock_000000341623_Large-2-300x200

The alleged victim, whose name was not released, claims that she was sexually assaulted when she attended a party at the home following the Cornhuskers win at Rutgers on November 14. She said that she was sexually assaulted at some time between 2:15 and 9:30 a.m. by the suspect, who she knew. Police Chief Jim Peschong said that he believes the victim’s allegations, however he did not feel after the investigation that police had the elements of a crime necessary to move forward and have charges filed. Peschong interviewed all six individuals who were present at the home on the evening in question, including the alleged victim.

In an interview with the Omaha World-Herald, Armstrong said that from what he had heard the sexual activity was consensual; he said he was confused by the allegation.

Approximately a month ago, 28-year-old Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud, a Saudi prince who lives at a Beverly Glen compound, was arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a woman who was reportedly seen fleeing from the grounds and bleeding. Al-Saud was arrested on September 23 on suspicion of forced oral copulation of an adult; he was freed on $300,000 bail. sad-silhouette-1080946-m

It was determined by a consul liaison with the Los Angeles Police Dept. that Al-Saud did not have diplomatic immunity, and therefore could be tried in the case. However, prosecutors announced recently that felony charges will not be filed in the alleged sexual assaults the Saudi prince has been accused of since the incident, as the evidence is insufficient and the stories of Al-Saud’s accusers cannot be substantiated.

An attorney for the alleged victims said a civil suit will move forward despite the fact no felony charges were filed. The women are claiming assault and battery, emotional distress, sexual discrimination, and retaliation against the workers at the compound.

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