The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

State, national, world

December 14, 2012

OSU student arrested, arraigned on sexual battery charges

STILLWATER, Okla. — The number of victims in a series of sexual assaults on campus is increasing.

Police Capt. Randy Dickerson said police have been in contact with five or six victims to initiate criminal investigations.

“Also, we have received a large volume of direct or indirect information leading us to believe a significant number of victims are not willing to disclose criminal acts which occurred to them,” Dickerson said.

Stillwater police, Oklahoma State University police and Tahlequah police are working together in the investigation. Authorities believe sexual assaults involving the same suspect happened in Stillwater, on the OSU campus and in Tahlequah.

So far, the investigation has yielded three charges of sexual battery against Oklahoma State University student Nathan Cochran, 22. Cochran is in Payne County Jail on $100,000 bail.

According to court records, the charges stem from incidents involving two men. They accused Cochran of attempting non-consensual sex acts on them while they slept, court records show.

The incidents happened Nov. 3, 2011 and Aug. 15,

Cochran was found responsible for four incidents of sexual misconduct by OSU’s Office of Student Conduct Education and Administration after five students filed complaints.

He has been suspended from the school for three years and was ordered to not have contact with any of the five victims.

Dickerson said the victims who have talked to police are not the same who filed complaints with OSU.

Cochran appeared in Payne County District Court Thursday via video link from the county jail for arraignment. Assistant District Attorney Jill Tontz and Cochran’s attorney told the judge that they both agreed to a bond reduction hearing.

Special Judge R.L. Hert set the hearing for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 19  before Judge Katherine Thomas.

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Hixson reports for Stillwater NewsPress.

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