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No charges in alleged sexual assault photographed near Ohio Univ., prosecutor says

The location in Athens, Ohio where an alleged sexual assault took place; no charges are being filed.
CBS affiliate WBNS
(CBS/AP) ATHENS, Ohio - A prosecutor says a grand jury decided not to charge anyone in an alleged sexual assault near Ohio University that was photographed and filmed by witnesses.

A man and woman were photographed in a sex act along a street near the southern Ohio campus in the wee hours of Oct. 12. Explicit photos of them were circulated via social media, and the woman later told police she was sexually assaulted.

In a Monday statement, Athens County prosecutor Keller Blackburn says a grand jury determined there wasn't probable cause for charges.

Blackburn says investigators determined the couple, both 20-year-old students, had alcohol from a bar before the sex act. He says the man asked the woman whether to stop the act when a crowd formed, and she said no.

CBS affiliate WBNS reports the prosecutor says the female accuser claims to have had no recollection of the incident.

Blackburn says witnesses and videos allowed investigators to reconstruct much of the night. The prosecutor says that after the public sexual encounter, the pair walked down the street to the male's 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 said, reports the station.

Blackburn says he hopes the case offers a lesson in personal responsibility and the incomplete stories told on social media.

"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," Blackburn said.

The name of the male involved in the case has not been made public. WBNS did reach out to the female accuser, but she did not want to comment.

  • Crimesider Staff

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