Update: UC Berkeley student exonerated of rape charge

Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook

Update, July 5, 2016: The student’s name has been removed at his request due to the finding of factual innocence.

Original story, Oct. 17, 2014: The case against a 20-year-old UC Berkeley student charged earlier this month with rape has been dismissed, authorities said Friday afternoon, and he has been found “factually innocent” of that allegation.

The student was scheduled to enter a plea in the case Friday morning.

But Teresa Drenick, Alameda County district attorney’s office spokeswoman, said Friday afternoon that the case against him was instead dismissed.


The student’s attorney, Ted W. Cassman, said shortly before 4 p.m. via email that the case was dismissed for insufficient evidence, and that the judge ruled him to be factually innocent.

The court ruled Friday morning that he “is hereby exonerated,” and that his detention by police “shall be deemed not to have occurred.”

In court Friday, deputy district attorney Joni Leventis said, according to a court transcript, that she had closely reviewed the evidence from police, and had interviewed the woman who initially reported the rape.

“I’ve had several discussions with her about those events and we’ve concluded that [name redacted] did not commit any sexual assault on September 27th, 2014. And I would add that Jane Doe is in agreement with that conclusion that we have come to,” Leventis told the judge.

Leventis also told the judge that there had been no indication that the student had been responsible in any way for the woman’s intoxication.


“There is no evidence that [name redacted] provided any drugs or gave any drugs in any manner or caused the intoxication or the level of intoxication, if you will, of Jane Doe in this case,” she said.

Cassman said via email that he appreciated the work of Leventis and the district attorney’s office “for their fair and thorough review of the case.”

He continued: “[name redacted] is innocent. The system worked. But in the meantime, he and his family suffered greatly, not only from a false charge but also from exaggerated and inaccurate press reports.”

Police arrested him at UC Berkeley’s Delta Upsilon fraternity Oct. 2. The district attorney’s office initially charged him with rape by use of drugs.

The news of the dismissal of the charge against the student came Friday amid a flurry of other reports of sexual assault released by the University of California Police Department.

Thursday evening, UCPD said five people had come forward saying they had been drugged and sexually assaulted at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity in the 2300 block of Piedmont Avenue.

Friday afternoon, UCPD said they also received a report that a member of a different fraternity, Theta Delta Chi, said he had been sexually assaulted by another member of that fraternity, and that other people also may have been assaulted.

This story was updated after publication to reflect information and court documents shared by the student’s attorney, Ted Cassman.


Related:
5 report frat house drugging, sex assaults in Berkeley (10.17.14)
Berkeley police: Drug was used in Cal fraternity rape case (10.07.14)
Berkeley police make frat house arrest in rape case (10.03.14)
Berkeley Police seek info, suspect after sexual assault (06.26.14)
16-year-old girl found naked, pepper-sprayed in Elmwood (04.16.14)
Berkeley man arrested after attempted rape, sexual assault (11.14.13)
Op-ed: A history of sexual violence at UC Berkeley (10.17.13)
Rape awareness event comes to Berkeley Saturday (10.10.13)
Police investigate armed rape in People’s Park (09.04.13)
45 years to life sentence for sexual assaults in Berkeley (07.12.13)
Police seek help finding Berkeley man wanted for assault (06.28.13)
UCPD creates night patrol unit for south of Cal campus (01.29.13)

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