College teaching assistant avoids jail despite admitting he raped student

Statute of limitations ran out, TA avoids charges

INDIANAPOLIS - A former teaching assistant on an Indianapolis college campus walked into a police station with a startling confession, telling police his guilty conscience had been weighing on him.

The man, now identified as a 39-year-old living in Carmel, sat down in a police interview room and admitted to raping one of his students back in 2005.

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) police said the man was a TA on campus in 2004 and 2005, but the crime he confessed to happened at his student’s apartment off campus.

Campus police filed a report this week saying the former TA made his confession after walking into the Marion County Sheriff’s Office at the City County Building in downtown Indianapolis.    

“He wanted to make a confession because his life has not been right ever since,” an officer wrote in her report.

The man was led to an interview room where he repeated his admission and filled in details of the attack at the woman’s apartment.

Campus police then tracked down the woman and she confirmed that her TA forced her to have sex against her will, but she told officers she did not report the crime when it happened.

The woman continued to attend classes with the man, but she told officers she would like to file charges now that the man has confessed to police.

When officers walked their case, complete with the victim’s statement and the rapist’s confession, into the prosecutor’s office, they were told Indiana law allows rape charges to be filed only within 5 years of the attack. The statute of limitations had expired by the time the former TA walked into the sheriff’s office on Jan. 23.

“Case closed,” officers wrote in their report.

IUPUI did not release any details about the former TA, but spokeswoman Margie Smith-Simmons responded to the rape confession with an e-mail saying, “We urge the reporting of all crimes by calling either 911 or the appropriate campus police department.”

She also provided rape prevention information that is shared with students and faculty at IUPUI:

•  Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
•  Contact the police.
•  If you are the victim of sexual assault, get help as soon as possible. Report the assault immediately.
•  IU Police Department personnel can also assist you in contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency for crimes not occurring on university property. IUPD will supply the victim with a resource guide that contains information on services available on campus and in the community. The guide provides general information to assist the victim with making choices about services he/she needs.
•  Preserve physical evidence.
•  In the case of sexual assault, it is particularly important to remember that it may be necessary to preserve evidence for use in court or in university disciplinary proceedings. Do not change your clothes, wash, douche or use the toilet before seeking medical attention, as such activities may result in the loss of evidence.
•  Get medical attention.
•  Victims of sexual assault should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is necessary to mitigate the risk of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy and to determine the existence or extent of, and to treat, any physical injury. Additionally, medical personnel will obtain evidence to help in the investigation. Not seeking medical attention could have physical and emotional consequences.

 

The former teaching assistant was not named in the police report or any public court files, and the Call 6 Investigators were not able to locate him using other identifying information that was included in the police report.

Police did not say whether the man was aware that the statute of limitations had expired and he would be getting away with the crime when he made his confession.

The officer assigned to the case wrote in her report that prosecutors indicated very few extenuating circumstances can allow a statute of limitations to be extended in a rape case, but prosecutors said none of those applied in this case.

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