Former Oklahoma State University student pleads not guilty to fourth sexual battery charge
Former Oklahoma State University student Nathan Cochran pleaded not guilty to a fourth sexual battery charge Monday. Cochran faces charges for three incidents in which he is accused of targeting male students while they slept.
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The man told police he went to the bathroom and that Cochran sent him a series of panicked text messages, according to court documents.
He showed police a text message on his phone in which Cochran said, “Please I can't ruin my life cause I was black out drunk ... Just text me?”
Stillwater police have said they think victims in the case could number into the dozens, with incidents occurring on campus at OSU, elsewhere in Stillwater, and in Tahlequah.
University officials learned of the assault reports on Nov. 12, but concerns over federal student privacy laws led them not to share this information with police.
Instead, they held student conduct hearings resulting in a decision to suspend Cochran from the university for three years beginning with the end of the fall 2012 semester.
Police opened an investigation into the sexual assault cases Dec. 7, after a reporter from the campus newspaper contacted the department with questions about the incidents. That investigation began three and a half weeks after OSU officials became aware of the matter.
On Dec. 13, OSU President Burns Hargis called for an investigation into the university's response. A task force assembled through the Board of Regents for Oklahoma State University and the A&M Colleges was assigned to carry out that investigation. The review is ongoing.
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