OSU To Review Handling Of Sexual Assault Claims

Friday, December 14th 2012, 8:54 pm
By: News 9

The chairman of Oklahoma State University's governing board is promising a review of how the school handled sexual assault claims made last month by at least four male students against another male student.

12/13/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma State Student Charged With Sexual Battery Appears In Court

Nathan Cochran, 22, is charged with three counts of sexual battery for incidents that took place in November 2011 and August 2012, according to court documents. 

Cochran was a member of the FarmHouse fraternity at OSU. He was also elected Secretary of the Inter fraternity Council in 2012, according to a cached version of the IFC's website. The reported assaults did not take place in the fraternity house, according to court documents.

Affidavits filed in the case say two young men claim Cochran sexually battered them while they were asleep.

Andy Lester, chairman of the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges, says the review will determine whether OSU should have phoned police when it first learned of the alleged assaults instead of handling the cases in-house through disciplinary panels.

Oklahoma State says school officials encouraged the victims to go to the police, but stopped short of reporting the matter themselves citing concerns for students' privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Lester suggested there may have been "unique circumstances" where victims needed assurance of a private setting before they came forward.