No charges will be pressed following a reported sexual assault in Coyote Village last semester.
An insufficient amount of evidence ended further investigation into the case at the University of South Dakota. The decision not to pursue charges was made in late December, early January, said Clay County State’s Attorney Teddi Gertsma.
“(The State Attorney’s office) takes victims into account, but ultimately, we have to make the decisions by what the case presents,” Gertsma said.
The criminal investigation began Oct. 6 when Vermillion Police Department officials began investigating a reported rape in Coyote Village involving two students. The names of the two students were never released.
Vermillion Police Department Chief Matt Betzen said insufficient evidence could mean a number of things, such as not enough physical evidence, no witnesses or conflicting information. However, he could not specify which factors made the difference in the case.
Betzen also denied The Volante access to the police report because he required “consent from the victim” for its release, though he said the case is no longer a criminal investigation.
Sexual assault on college campuses is a topic currently being addressed by President Barack Obama, who launched an initiative Jan. 22 to combat college rape. He called sexual assault an affront to humanity.
“We need to encourage young people, men and women to realize that sexual assault is simply unacceptable,” Obama said. “And they’re going to have to summon the bravery to stand up and say so, especially when the social pressure to keep quiet or to go along can be very intense.”
Obama then gave the task force 90 days to come up with recommendations for universities on matters of awareness to prevent and respond to the crime and enhance the tracking and documentation of college records and federal agencies pertaining to sexual assault.