ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — A former Ohio University student has been indicted on charges that include rape and sexual battery, after an incident that happened back in January.
According to the Athens County prosecutor, Cameron Wilson, 23, played football at Iowa before transferring to OU to play football there.
Keller Blackburn, the Athens County prosecutor, said Athens police received several 911 calls in mid-January 2016 about a sexual assault at a house on Fern Street in Athens. Because the calls did not come from the victim, Blackburn said police did not respond right away.
Blackburn said Wilson and the victim, both OU students, knew each other and were drinking that night at Wilson’s house. Athens police investigated until the end of April, then turned the case over to Blackburn’s office.
“This was a difficult case to indict, but not as difficult as this has been on the victim,” Blackburn said.
In May, Wilson, the suspect, was arrested for a fight in Athens. He tried to escape from police and was found to have drugs on him.
Now, Wilson has been indicted by an Athens County grand jury on charges that include rape and sexual battery stemming from that incident, as well as charges from the May fight and drug possession. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, but Blackburn said police do not know where he is, although they believe he may have checked himself into rehab in Texas.
On a campus where other rapes have been reported as recently as a couple of weeks ago, students said Monday they were glad to hear someone had been charged for this particular assault.
“It’s shocking,” James Forti, a senior, said. “You don’t think it’s going to happen on your campus, but I mean, it’s just disgusting to know that that type of stuff’s happening where I go to school.”
Allyson Harris, another senior, said she felt safer on campus as a freshman.
“I feel more concerned about my safety now walking home cause I don’t know what’s going to happen to me,” Harris said.
Blackburn said his office is focused on improving the process by which victims can report assault and helping them tell their stories to a jury.
“We have the issue of what officers used to think happened—that once alcohol was involved, it’s not a crime—to what reality is, that it is a crime if the individual doesn’t have the capacity to consent,” Blackburn said.