No charges in Dominican University rape allegations

University will conduct its own investigation

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By Bill Dwyer

Contributing reporter

Cook County prosecutors have declined to bring criminal charges against a man accused of sexually assaulting a Dominican University student last weekend.

"Last night a determination was made to not pursue any criminal charges, either misdemeanor or felony charges," Deputy Chief James O'Shea said Tuesday.

O'Shea said personnel from the State Attorney's Office of Felony Review worked late into the night re-interviewing all witnesses in the case, and the alleged victim and offender. They also review all case reports of detectives who investigated the case, as well as all evidence.

O'Shea said there are no other suspects in the case.

"The person of interest was the sole (suspect) directly involved in this case. We are not seeking anyone else."

Meanwhile, Dominican University officials continue to conduct their own, separate investigation in the allegations made by an 18-year old freshman female. That young woman said she was raped by an acquaintance after returning from an under-age drinking party on campus.

According to the U.S. Education Department, under federal Title IX law, such investigations are mandated and, "a law enforcement investigation does not relieve the school of its independent Title IX obligation to investigate the conduct."

"We are conducting our own confidential investigation right now so I can't share much," University spokesperson Jessica MacKinnon said Monday. She released the following statement on behalf of Dominican.

"On Saturday, October 11, 2014, Dominican University received a report from a student alleging that she was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance while in a room in a campus residence hall. The police were contacted and the alleged perpetrator has been banned from campus. The university is cooperating fully with the River Forest Police Department in its investigation of this incident. In addition, the university has opened its own confidential Title IX investigation of the incident and support services are being provided to the entire university community."

The victim's aunt contacted the police and the university after the young woman said she was attacked in her dorm room after the 22-year old "brother of a friend's boyfriend" walked her back to campus from a friend's birthday party Friday night.

The aunt said her niece admitted she had been drinking, but did not want the man in her dorm room and told him so.

"All that she knows is that she had been drinking. She did ask him to leave, and he refused to leave. The next thing she remembers was waking up."

The young woman called campus security after waking up naked under a blanket Saturday morning, then called her family and went to Rush Oak Park Hospital, where a rape kit was utilized.

The alleged offender turned himself in to River Forest police Monday.

Calls and emails to the victim's aunt were not immediately returned Tuesday morning by press time. 

Related articles: "Person of Interest" in custody in Dominican rape case

Reader Comments

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joe from south oak park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2014 8:12 AM

all a title IX investigation at a university is looking to do is determine whether it was more likely than not that a campus policy was violated. a quote from the DU policy, 'In campus investigations, legal terms like "guilt, "innocence" and "burdens of proof" are not applicable, but the University never assumes a respondent is in violation of university policy.' Also while a complainant is never held to a non-disclosure agreement, it makes no mention of offering the same to the accused.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2014 8:04 AM

One interesting thing to point out is the separate standards to which criminal investigations and title IX investigations are held. While the criminal justice system has to obtain proof beyond a reasonable doubt, all the title IX investigation has to find is a preponderance of evidence (or >50% likely). Reading the Dominican University policy there doesn't seem to be any guarantee of representation by a lawyer in the proceedings.

Roosevelt Neighbor from River Forest  

Posted: October 15th, 2014 7:46 AM

At this point, no one even knows whether there was, in fact, a "victim". There appears to be nothing more than an allegation made by the woman. Also, the report says that the man who was accused of the assault is not a student at Dominican. Therefore, even if the University conducts it's own separate Title IX investigation, and concludes some violation of the student code occurred, they have no authority over the man other than, perhaps, banning him from being on school property.

muriel schnierow from Oak Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2014 7:00 PM

unfortunately thismay turn out to be a"he said-she said"No way am i blaming a victim. .Young women must be extra careful in this society.and the university must do better to protect young women from rape. the statistics are a Sen Gillebrands comments and work on this issue.she is senator from NY

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: October 14th, 2014 6:29 PM

Thanks and Sorry

Jim Bowman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: October 14th, 2014 3:56 PM

"Man arrested in forest preserve sexual assault" is a different story.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 14th, 2014 3:52 PM

Right. Which is a totally separate story, different offender, different victim and investigated by a different law enforcement agency.

john murtragh from op  

Posted: October 14th, 2014 3:33 PM

The one that appeared in the "Man arrested in forest preserve sexual assault"

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 14th, 2014 2:50 PM

What perp photo?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: October 14th, 2014 2:41 PM

At 5:14 pm on 10-13-14, the WJ released a story with a perp photo. The long article ensured that the police has their man. On 10-14-14 at 12:14 pm, the WJ releases a story saying the police are not charging the alleged perp. Do the police determine likely guilt, run the perp photo, and then go to the prosecutor? It makes no sense.

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