No criminal charges to be filed against former university student

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According to a statement released by Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland, no charges will be filed against former UCA student Emmanuel Otoo for any crime based on lack of evidence.

Otoo, a former international student from Ghana, was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault on Aug. 9 following a report by an unknown student and released on bond on Aug. 10.

“We have reviewed the file submitted to us by the UCAPD in the incident involving Immanuel [sic]Otoo and interviewed witnesses in the matter,” Hiland said in his statement. “As a result of that review, we will not be filing criminal charges and have communicated that decision to the individuals and family involved.”

Hiland said UCA had “fulfilled its commitment” to protecting its students.

“The evidentiary standard in a criminal case is more demanding and at this time there is insufficient evidence to move forward with formal charges in this case,” Hiland said.

UCA Associate Vice President for Communications, Public Relations and Marketing Christina Madsen declined to comment on whether or not the lack of charges would make Otoo eligible to re-enroll as a student.

UCA’s Sexual Misconduct Policy doesn’t specify whether or not a student arrested but not charged can re-enroll.

Public Relations and Information Officer Michael Hopper of the UCAPD confirmed that the victim in the alleged assault was an acquaintance of Otoo and that Otoo was held off-campus in a holding facility following his arrest.

Hopper said most of the reports UCAPD receives such as this are usually of incidents which take place off campus, in dorms or in college apartments.

When asked of the three reports of sexual assault over August, Hopper said he didn’t want to call the number “abnormal’ for risk of undue speculation as to the definition of “normal,” but said “we don’t get a lot of them.”

He said that in the course of the incident, between Aug. 2 and Aug 8, two rapes were reported and one assault.

Hopper didn’t have specific dates for the rapes, but said the assault was the last occurrence of the three. Hopper said he could not give details on what evidence may have been gathered at the time of the report or the arrest.

The complete police report on the Otoo case was released Sept. 12.

Hopper listed UCAPD services such as self-defense and situational-awareness classes as resources that students can use to help protect themselves. He said that any students that experience violence are encouraged to report it.

Madsen referenced UCA’s Sexual Misconduct flier, which lists possible courses of action for those who have experienced sexual misconduct, how to seek protective services, how to file a complaint and UCA’s general statement on the subject.

If anyone has a crime tip for UCAPD, the Crime Tips hotline is 501-450-5696.

In an emergency, students are encouraged to either call 911 or UCAPD at 501-450-3111.

image via ksn.com

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