Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill announced on Monday that he will file felony obstruction charges on the former Goshen College student, age 19, of Elkhart, who reported that she was abducted from the college campus and sexually assaulted at Shanklin Park on Jan. 18.
“During the course of the investigation, detectives became suspicious of the veracity of the reported attack due to contradictory information developed through the investigation,” said Hill in a video on eTruth.com.
According to an article in the Elkhart Truth, detectives found evidence that the former student was socializing with a friend in a neighboring county during the time of the reported assault.
After the Goshen police detectives confronted her, she confirmed that the Jan. 18 abduction and rape did not occur. By that point, Hill said about 200 working-hours of public resources had been expended to the investigation. Further details about the investigation will not be disclosed until the trail. The date of the trial has not yet been determined.
Bill Born, vice president for student life, said in an email to students an employees on Monday, “The college intends to continue to move forward with prior security decisions made during the fall 2010, such as entry control system implementation for residential housing units, on-going campus education and enhanced campus security for the 2011-12 school year.”
Born said that while security on campus is something that should be reconsidered (taking into account the Coffman robbery over break), he understands the inconvenience of having the dormitory doors permanently locked.
“Locking the dorm doors 24/7 scared us more than helped us,” said Arielle Zerger, a freshman. “The campus seemed to go from one extreme to another, security-wise.”
She said she liked the idea of swiping ID cards to gain access to the dorms. Currently, she, along with many other students, find it particularly frustrating that they only have access to the one dormitory floor of which they are residents.
Justin Yoder, a sophomore, said, “Even though this happened, I hope it doesn’t diminish the reality that assaults do happen, and could in the future.”
Born said the college always seeks divine guidance in order to respond in a caring manner to all issues on campus.
“We continue to be mindful and prayerful of the situation,” said Born. “We don’t want to turn a cold shoulder to the individual and her family.”