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John Enochs (Monroe County Sheriff's Office).

Crime & punishment

Former college student charged with 2 rapes spent just 1 day in jail

June 28, 2016

Prosecutors in Indiana are under fire over a case in which a former Indiana University student accused of two separate rapes spent just one day in jail. The lax punishment drew comparisons to the now-infamous light sentence handed to Brock Turner in the Stanford University rape case.

John Enochs, 22, was accused of committing two rapes — one in 2013 and another in 2015 — while he was a student at Indiana University. Enochs was charged with two counts of rape last September, but last week, he pleaded guilty to battery with moderate bodily harm, a class A misdemeanor in Indiana — not the felony conviction the prosecution was seeking.

Nevertheless, prosecutors struck a plea deal with Enochs. He was sentenced to one year probation, making the lone day he spent in custody the entirety of his incarceration. Enochs, a fraternity member, was accused of raping a woman he knew in her dorm room following a Greek event in 2013. In April of last year, another woman accused Enochs of raping her at a fraternity party.

Coming under pressure over the case’s outcome, the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement explaining a “very unusual set of circumstances” led to the plea deal. For one thing, prosecutors said, even though he was charged with both rapes at the same time last September, the law provided that Enochs had to be tried separately for each. “We could only do one at a time. The jury in one would not be permitted to know about the other. This was something we anticipated from the outset,” prosecutors said in the statement.

Further complicating the case, according to prosecutors, was that the alleged victim in the 2013 case had no recollection of the events on the evening in question. And, that alcohol consumption played a role. “The few witnesses could not recall important details due to the passage of time and the consumption of alcohol,” their statement read. Prosecutors added that “the complaining witness’s decision to prosecute came two years after the event which severely hindered the investigation.” In the 2015 case, prosecutors blamed “problematic” DNA evidence as one of the factors that led to the plea deal.

Enoch’s defense attorney, Katharine Liell, criticized both cases against her client, saying, he “did not rape anyone and he should never have been charged with these offenses,” and accused the lead investigator in the case of “misconduct.”

The woman who brought the 2015 accusations against Enochs has filed a lawsuit against Indiana University and the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, PEOPLE magazine reported on Tuesday. In the suit, the woman, a student at Indiana University, accuses the school of “deliberate indifference to actual notice of this sexual assault” and adds that the university “condoned Delta Tau Delta fostering an environment of illegal and dangerous activity, as well as sexual assault.”

Read the full story at ABC News.


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