Stillwater News Press

January 15, 2013

Student Conduct Office inquiries often result in sanctions

Felony charges have only been filed in two of at least 10 sexual misconduct incidents at Oklahoma State University since 2010

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma State University Student Conduct Office has conducted at least 10 sexual misconduct hearings since 2010, but just two incidents resulted in sex-crime charges in Payne County.

In seven of the 10 cases, the victim contacted law enforcement before filing a complaint with the university, according to an Oklahoma State University disciplinary outcome report.

Oklahoma State University’s Student Code of Conduct defines sexual misconduct as “unwanted sexual touching or exposure, nonconsensual sexual assault or forced sexual assault.”

The latest sexual misconduct complaint is unresolved. It was filed Dec. 7, but the Student Conduct Office found the accused not responsible after a hearing. The person making the complaint has appealed the hearing results. The appeal is pending. The victim contacted law enforcement before notifying the university. No charges have been filed in Payne County, according to the OSU documents.

Nathan M. Cochran, 22, was suspended by the Student Conduct Office for three years in December. He faces four charges of sexual battery in Payne County. A 10 a.m. Feb. 4 hearing is scheduled in Payne County District Court. He remains free after posting bail of $100,000.

Oklahoma State University investigated two other sexual misconduct complaints in 2012.

On April 3, student conduct ordered a student be placed on conduct probation for a year, not to have contact with the victim and terminated the student’s housing contract for a year. The university was unaware if the victim contacted police. The university told the victim how to file a police report, but no charges were filed in Payne County, according to the document.

On April 27, a student filed a sexual misconduct complaint but the respondent was found not responsible. The student contacted police before notifying the university, but no charges were filed in Payne County, according to the document.

Five sexual misconduct incidents were reported in 2011. In four of the five incidents, the accused either admitted the violation or was found responsible and was either placed on conduct probation or suspended for a year.

In March 2011, Christopher B. Boyd, 22, of Stillwater, was charged with rape by instrumentation in connection with a March 19, 2011 incident. The case was eventually dismissed, but Boyd pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and battery on Feb. 24. Boyd received a five-year deferred sentence.

The university suspended Boyd for one year on April 22, 2011, after he admitted to violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy. Student conduct learned of the misconduct through a police report, according to university documents.