Victims in rape cases involving former IU student were ‘shocked’ to learn charges were dismissed
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The parents of the two victims in the case of John Enochs say they are frustrated.
Last week, the former IU student charged in two rape cases accepted a plea deal. Enochs will serve one year of probation after pleading guilty to battery with moderate bodily injury. Two rape charges against him were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
The most recent incident happened in April 2015. According to court documents, a woman told police she’d been raped at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house but didn’t know her alleged attacker. She said she repeatedly told him to stop, but he held her down. Eventually she was able to leave the room and get away.
Security video showed Enochs entering the room with the victim. She left 24 minutes later; health officials said she suffered a laceration to her genitals.
While that case was under investigation, police found a similar alleged rape from 2013. The woman involved in that case agreed to help investigators. DNA evidence and witness statements led them to Enochs.
The parents of the victims released the following statement on Thursday:
These last few days have been extremely painful and frustrating for our daughters. As with all victims of sexual assault, it took tremendous strength and courage for them to come forward. Despite understanding the high burden the State faces in a criminal trial and knowing the additional emotional pain trials would cause, our daughters were resolute that a jury would eventually hear and see all of the evidence and then decide Mr. Enochs’ fate.
We make this statement to clarify some misconceptions in the various media accounts. Our daughters were in frequent contact with the prosecuting attorneys throughout the criminal litigation process. They both fully cooperated with everything that was asked of them. They were never told a plea agreement was even being discussed with Mr. Enochs’ attorneys. They were shocked to learn the charges in one case had been dismissed and an insignificant plea had been reached in the other case. They learned of these outcomes not from the prosecuting attorneys, but second-hand. It was only when we contacted the prosecuting attorneys that we were told.
What is even more troubling is that the prosecuting attorney’s recent public statement presents the evidence only in a light most favorable to Mr. Enochs. While we will not discuss specifics of the evidence in either case, the prosecutor’s statement fails to mention many critical pieces of evidence that we believe a jury would have relied upon to render a guilty verdict. Ultimately, we conclude that the prosecuting attorney released that statement in an attempt to save face when confronted with the type of intense scrutiny our daughters have faced since they decided to come forward.
Our daughters are determined and resolute to seek justice, not only for themselves, but also in the hope that other victims of sexual assaults will not be discouraged from coming forward. Our daughters appreciate the support being expressed to them by thousands of people they do not know and will likely never know.
Enoch’s plea deal is receiving national media attention, following the mild sentence handed out to a former Stanford student, who was convicted of raping an unconscious woman on campus in 2015.
Additionally, the victim associated with the 2015 rape case against Enochs has filed a Title IX lawsuit against both IU and the Delta Tao Delta Fraternity, claiming both ignored the 2013 rape case associated with Enochs which led to her assault two years later.
IU released this statement regarding the suit:
As result of the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), designed to protect the educational records of students, Indiana University is not able to publicly comment on individual student misconduct cases, including the final disposition of those cases. Additionally, it would be inappropriate for the university to comment on the outcome of a criminal judicial proceeding to which it is not a party.
As it relates to sexual misconduct, however, the university continues to utilize robust processes that are designed to support victims, while at the same time affording due process to those accused of misconduct. In instances where a student is found responsible for committing an act of sexual violence, the penalty is suspension or expulsion.
Additionally, the university regularly engages in a broad range of educational communication and programming to students, faculty and staff regarding sexual assault. The university’s goals are both to prevent sexual assault whenever possible and to support the victims to the fullest extent possible.
For more information on the university’s programs and policies related to sexual misconduct go to http://www.stopsexualviolence.iu.edu