Hocking College Says Sexual Assault Investigation Over, Prosecutor Says Otherwise

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The Athens County Prosecutor said comments made by a Hocking College spokesperson about a sexual assault investigation are “false.”

Hocking College spokesperson Mike Brown said the investigation into a sexual assault allegation has ended, but the Athens County Prosecutor is saying an investigation into a related criminal complaint is ongoing.

“We have a duty to fully investigate allegations, in order to reach justice,” Blackburn wrote in a news release.

Brown told WOUB early Tuesday that the investigation had been closed and social media had created rumors, spurring controversy in the case.

“There was no rape,” said Brown, executive director of public relations for the college. “There are no criminal charges and the investigation is over.”

An incident report (which can be read here: Hocking College incident 1) was filed Sept. 1, according to a report by the Hocking College Police Department. The report alleged that a woman had been sexually assaulted and that five males were involved. The woman reportedly went to an Ohio University event before going to a party with an individual she knew.

According to the report, the woman said she couldn’t remember how she returned to the Hocking College campus, but that a group of individuals had helped her get into her room when she lost her keys.

The woman told police she woke up naked with five males who were also naked, and said she was feeling pain in the thighs and shoulders, according to the report.

Hocking College Police Chief Al Matthews contacted the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office and Prosecutor Keller Blackburn confirmed to media outlets that a criminal complaint had been filed.

When asked on Tuesday whether there were any updates in the criminal case, Blackburn told WOUB that no updates should be expected for “several months.”

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Blackburn said.

Brown said the accusations were “stirred by social media” and from sources who are not from Southeast Ohio. He declined to comment on whether the allegations were connected to the football team.

“In the old days, we took things with a grain of salt,” Brown said. “That’s what should have happened here.”