MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

January 14, 2013

Seven at OSU found responsible for sexual misconduct

STILLWATER  (AP) – The Oklahoma State University Student Conduct Office has found seven students responsible for sexual misconduct since 2010, but none has been expelled from the university, although some were suspended, according to an OSU disciplinary outcome document.

Sexual misconduct is defined as “unwanted sexual touching or exposure,” ‘’nonconsensual sexual assault” and “forced sexual assault,” according to the OSU Student Code of Conduct.

Student Conduct officials have investigated at least 10 allegations of sexual misconduct during that time and held level hearings for each, according to the document.

The alleged victims notified law enforcement before coming to Student Conduct in eight of the cases, according to the document. In the other two, Student Conduct personnel said they didn’t know whether the complainants contacted the police.

One student was found responsible for a violation on Nov. 15, 2010, and was suspended from OSU for one year. In 2011, Student Conduct found four students responsible, but the respective panels decided to suspend only two of them for one year each.

In 2012, two students were found responsible for sexual misconduct, but only one of them, Nathan Cochran, 22, was suspended from the university.

Cochran faces four charges of sexual battery in allegations involving three other men, but Stillwater Police Capt. Randy Dickerson has said some of the students who have come to police are not the same as those who notified Student Conduct.

Cochran has pleaded not guilty.

On March 2, 2011, a student was found responsible for inappropriately touching another student over the student’s clothes on the chest, thighs and groin, according to the document. The student’s sanctions included a no-contact order, sexual-harassment training and conduct probation, which required that the student receive no OSU honors or awards and resign from student organization leadership positions.

On April 22, 2011, Student Conduct found another student responsible for sexual misconduct after he admitted violating OSU’s policy and suspended him for one year.

On June 21, 2011, a student was found responsible for one instance of inappropriate touching. The panel sanctioned the student to a year of conduct probation, a no-contact order with the victim until graduation, a drug and alcohol assessment and sexual-harassment training, which included writing a reflection paper about the incident.

On Oct. 4, 2011, a student was suspended for a year after being found responsible for inappropriately touching another student under the clothes on the student’s buttock. The student was barred from living on campus for one year and put on conduct probation with a no-contact order.

On Nov. 30, Cochran was found responsible for sexual misconduct committed against four students. He was suspended for three years beginning Dec. 14 and immediately banned from contacting the complainants. He was arrested Dec. 12 on a warrant for three sexual battery charges after police began investigating allegations against him on Dec. 7, records show.

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents’ Policies and Procedures task force is reviewing OSU’s handling of the sexual misconduct investigation in Cochran’s case. OSU did not immediately provide Cochran’s name to police, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA

In emails obtained through an open records request last month, university officials expressed concern about OSU’s image following the assault allegations against Cochran.

Cochran will next appear in court at 10 a.m. Feb. 4. He remains free on $100,000 bond.

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