August off-campus sexual assault case won’t be prosecuted

By TCU 360 and TCU 360

Editor’s Note: TCU 360 has removed the name of the defendant from this story because the charges against him were expunged in May 2016. 

Tarrant County prosecutors have no plans to file charges against the former student arrested last September on suspicion of sexual assault, according to the office’s spokesperson.

The defendant, 19, was arrested on suspicion of sexual assaulting a 17-year-old girl off-campus on Sept. 14, according to a police report.

“We have determined that, based upon the facts that were submitted to us, there is little likelihood of successful prosecution,” said Melody McDonald, Public Information Officer for the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. “If there is new and additional evidence brought forward, the matter could be reevaluated at a later date,”

Fort Worth police detective B.C. Johnson of the sexual assault division investigated the case.

In this case, the woman asked for the case to be dropped, which is not uncommon, Johnson said.

“Most of the time when the victim is the only witness that usually makes it go away,” he said. “Just because someone is arrested does not mean that they (the District Attorney’s Office) will take the case.”

Johnson submitted an initial report electronically to the District Attorney’s office, which was returned to him and more information was requested he said.

He was asked to find more witnesses because the incident started at a party, he said.

Once resubmitted, Johnson was told by the DA on October 6 that they would not take the case at that time.

The defendant was in classes until the day before his arrest and was then removed as a student, said Lisa Albert, TCU director of communications, at the time.

TCU 360 requested the police report but the City of Fort Worth denied that request because the girl involved was 17, qualifying her as a minor. The denial of that request is included below.

The accuser is not enrolled at the university at this time,  Albert wrote in an email.

The university can not comment on a specific case due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts, Albert said.

“In general, if a student is found in violation of the student code of conduct, he or she would be subject to a range of disciplinary action from the University,” Albert said. “ If the student is arrested by FWPD, he or she is subject to the law and could face legal ramifications from the city, in addition to disciplinary action from the University.”

According to university policy, if he were to return to TCU he would go through a re-application process, Albert said. Those applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Calls to the defendant were not returned.

The TCU Student Handbook states the following  in article 3.2.1:

“Infliction or threat of infliction of bodily or emotional harm, whether done intentionally or otherwise, including threat or action in retaliation for making allegations of miscon- duct. Assault, sexual misconduct, verbal harassment, sexual harassment, biased related incidents, and stalking are some, but not all, of the behaviors prohibited. Sexual misconduct is a particularly grievous offense and may result in suspension or expulsion.”

This report contains information from the TCU 360 archives.