Prosecutors and a judge are under fire after letting a frat boy off with nothing more than one day in jail and a year’s probation for raping two women on a college campus.
John Enochs, 22, was charged with two counts of rape after sexually assaulting two women at frat parties in 2013 and 2015, while he was a student at Indiana University Bloomington.
Rape is a level 3 felony in Indiana, and upon conviction, can carry a sentence of up to 16 years in prison. However, prosecutors claim they did not have enough evidence to convict him, even though they wanted to throw the book at him, and the judge knocked the charges down to a single misdemeanor. Enochs plead guilty to misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to a year of probation after serving only one day in jail.
Chief deputy Monroe County prosecutor Bob Miller issued a statement in which he called the circumstances of the case “unusual.”
This case presented a very unusual set of circumstances in that we had two unrelated accusations two years apart. Neither case, standing alone, presented sufficient evidence to prove rape.
The Enochs case has sparked outrage and is being compared to that of Brock Turner, a former student at Stanford University who was convicted of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and sentenced to only six months in jail.
The turn of events was frustrating for us as prosecutors, due to the fact that there were two complaints against the defendant,” Miller wrote. “That fact is the reason we continued to pursue accountability on his part which lead to this plea agreement.
Enochs was charged with raping a woman in April of 2015 at the Bloomington school’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity house. The victim told authorities that she had been held down and raped while repeatedly screaming for her attacker to stop. The assault was so brutal that she suffered a laceration to her genitals. DNA from the rape kit matched Enochs.
Another victim of Enochs eventually came forward and he was charged with another count of rape for that attack, which took place in 2013.
In the older case, the complaining witness had no specific recollection of the events,” Miller wrote. “The few witnesses could not recall important details due to the passage of time and the consumption of alcohol.”
Also, Miller wrote, “the complaining witness’s decision to prosecute came two years after the event which severely hindered the investigation.”
“There were also photographs that contradicted the assertion that the complaining witness was incapable of engaging in consensual activity shortly before the sexual assault,” Miller wrote.
The most recent case “had similar evidentiary problem,” Miller wrote. “In that case there is video evidence of activities of the complaining witness, before and after the alleged assault, which does not support the assertion of a forcible rape.
Both of Enoch’s victims are now suing Indiana University and the fraternity. This is not the first time Indiana University Bloomington has faced criticism over their poor handling of sexual assaults on campus. According to Department of Education data, there are currently three open Title IX complaints against the school.
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