Homecoming Sexual Assault Leads to Five-Year Prison Sentence

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A Michigan man that was charged in a sexual assault that happened during Ohio University’s 2013 Homecoming has pleaded guilty in Athens County Common Pleas Court and been sentenced to five years in prison.

Dedrick D. Peterson, 31, of Ann Arbor, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery on Friday.

Peterson was indicted on six counts of rape, three counts of sexual battery and one count of aggravated burglary in October. He was arrested after an investigation connected him to an incident reported to have happened on Forest Street during the 2013 Homecoming Weekend.

Both Peterson and the victim had connections with Ohio University and with the Marching 110, according to a previous Messenger article. Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said the woman had consumed alcohol, which led to impairment.

“Sadly, alcohol-based sexual assaults are at epidemic levels on college campuses across the county,” Blackburn said in a news release about the Peterson case. “My office will aggressively pursue these investigations and work to bring justice to the issue.”

The initial investigation into the incident fell cold after investigators could not find enough evidence to continue the case, Blackburn said previously. New DNA evidence was uncovered during a further investigation that began in January.

Peterson waived extradition from Michigan in October and was transported to the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

Peterson will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender, for which he will be required to register with the sheriff’s office in his home county every 90 days for the rest of his life.