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Police confirm third alleged victim in Oklahoma State University sexual assault case

BY SILAS ALLEN Published: January 8, 2013
/articleid/3744042/1/pictures/1923203">Photo - Nathan Cochran
Nathan Cochran

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 think the victims in the case could number into the dozens, with incidents occurring on campus at OSU, elsewhere in Stillwater and in Tahlequah.

Methods questioned

OSU officials have been criticized for their handling of the case. University officials learned of the assault reports Nov. 12, when a series of students filed reports against Cochran. But university officials never notified police about the matter, saying federal student privacy regulations prevented them from doing so.

Instead, OSU held student conduct hearings against Cochran. At the end of those hearings, Cochran was suspended from OSU for three years beginning with the end of the fall 2012 semester.

Police eventually learned of the case through the university’s student newspaper.

The Board of Regents for Oklahoma State University and the A&M Colleges announced last month a board task force would review the university’s handling of the case at the request of OSU President Burns Hargis. That task force was created last year to review institutional policies in response to the sex abuse scandal at Penn State University.

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