OSU President Seeks Investigation Into Handling Of Sexual Assault Case

Thursday, December 13th 2012, 10:33 pm
By: News 9

OSU's President is calling for an investigation into the University's handling of sexual assault allegations by a former FarmHouse Fraternity member. 

Nathan Cochran, 22, was charged Wednesday with three counts of felony sexual battery. 

12/13/2012 related Story: OSU Expands Task Force To Review Handling Of Sexual Battery Allegations

The University had been investigating the claims since early November, but didn't alert Stillwater Police until last Friday.  OSU officials said Federal Law forbid them from contacting police. 

FarmHouse President Nick Jordan says the Fraternity went to the University immediately after they knew about the allegations.

12/12/12 Related Story: OSU Student, Former Frat Member Charged With Sexual Battery

"It's not a rampant issue in our chapter. As far as we know, only one of the victims is associated with the House.  Our primary concern is with the victims and others impacted by this terrible situation." 

Police say none of the alleged assaults occurred on FarmHouse property.

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

FarmHouse released the following statement regarding the ongoing investigation:

FarmHouse is a fraternity based upon Christian principals and our motto is "Builders of Men". The Oklahoma State Chapter has a long history of maintaining an impeccable reputation. We strive to build men of strong character, of high moral values; members have concern for family and community. We constantly strive to represent the OSU and Stillwater communities with distinction and integrity. 

Our interest in this situation was for the safety of our men; our concern is for the victims, both FarmHouse and any others that have been caught up in a web of deceit and deception. The Fraternity first learned of this situation only after a concerned chapter member discerned from a conversation with a young man that a problem might exist. That very night, the problem was brought forward to an advisor and the Corporation President and, by noon the next day, representatives of the Fraternity met with University officials in order to seek direction and counseling. The follow day we spoke with several OSU administrative personnel, interviewed the victim, and immediately notified the alleged perpetrator that his association with FarmHouse was being immediately terminated, and that he was to cease all further contact and communication with the men of FarmHouse .

From all accounts, we responded to this situation swiftly and appropriately. Our primary concern was not for our own reputation but for the safety and security of all our members and others within the OSU community. From the outset, the University made it clear that any person who thought that they might be a victim could make the personal choice of contacting the police and reporting the incident.

These tragic acts were committed by an isolated individual who acted alone and independent of FarmHouse Fraternity. We have thoroughly investigated this matter and none of the irreparable conduct occurred on Chapter property nor did these incidences take place at or during a Chapter sponsored event.  The Fraternity does not condone this appalling conduct and it has never been nor will it ever be acceptable for its members to conduct themselves in such a manner. 

The Stillwater police department has concluded that this is not a FarmHouse issue and that it is unfair to continue associating this tragedy with the Fraternity. Captain Dickerson of the Stillwater police has stated as follows: "I think this is an unfair characterization of the case and is unfair to the fraternity. FarmHouse acted appropriately in reporting the matter as they did".  Captain Dickerson further stated that "The allegations so far indicate one suspect acting independently to commit illegal acts on a number of victims."

On Wednesday, 12/12/12, the University confirmed our quick response to the suspected wrongful acts. Our International Association has continued to support and confirm our response to this matter. The misconduct of one disassociated individual should not reflect negatively upon nor does it represent the values that FarmHouse has aspired too for 84 years.

Oklahoma FarmHouse Corporation,  Terry Graham, President