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Oklahoma State University suspends student in connection with alleged sexual assaults

Oklahoma State University student Nathan Cochran, 22, was suspended for three years beginning at the end of the current semester, and ordered to have no contact with any of the complainants in the case, OSU officials announced. The current semester ends Friday.
by Silas Allen Modified: December 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm •  Published: December 11, 2012

LeRoy Rooker, the former head of the U.S. Department of Education's Family Policy Compliance Office, said FERPA doesn't bar university officials from notifying campus police about investigations the university administration conducts. The Family Policy Compliance Office is the federal agency responsible for administering FERPA.

When a college or university opens student conduct hearings against a student, documents from those hearings are treated as education records, he said, meaning they can't be disclosed to the general public.

However, that restriction wouldn't prevent university officials from asking campus police to begin their own investigation into the allegations.

Stillwater police opened an investigation into the alleged incidents Friday, the day after a reporter from the campus newspaper contacted the department with questions about the incidents, Dickerson said.

That investigation began about 3 ½ weeks after OSU officials became aware of the incident.

According to OSU's website, Cochran was active in the university's Interfraternity Council, having served as secretary of the council. He also served as a student director for Gundyville, a program that allows OSU students to camp near Boone Pickens Stadium before home football games.

He did not return a phone message for comment.

Dickerson said Tuesday the department had interviewed about five alleged victims in connection with the department's investigation. Although some of the alleged victims were fraternity members, he said, many others had no connection to the organization.

Police think the alleged assaults may have taken place in at least three jurisdictions: Tahlequah, Stillwater and on campus at OSU. has disabled the comments for this article.
by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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