(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) — The prosecutors who sought a felony charge against the former Indiana University student accused of two separate incidents of rape said Monday they were “frustrated” that there was not sufficient evidence to prove their case.
John Enochs, 22, was charged in September 2015 with two counts of rape, but those counts were dropped last week when he agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of battery with moderate bodily injury. The charge was initially amended to a “level 6 felony battery,” but the court entered judgment as a “class A misdemeanor,” which it has the discretion to do when a defendant pleads guilty, the prosecutor’s office said.
Enochs was sentenced by the court to one year of probation. He will not go to jail for the misdemeanor.
Enochs was accused of raping a woman he knew in her dorm room in October 2013 the night of a Greek life event, according to an affidavit from police. The second case was from April 2015, when a woman told Indiana University police she was raped at a fraternity party by an unknown man, who was later identified as Enochs, according to the affidavit.
Prosecutors said the case’s two unrelated accusations presented a “very unusual set of circumstances.”
“Although we filed the cases together, they were severed for purposes of trial. We could only do one at a time. The jury in one would not be permitted to know about the other. This was something we anticipated from the outset,” the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Regarding the 2013 case, “the complaining witness had no specific recollection of the events” and “the few witnesses could not recall important details due to the passage of time and the consumption of alcohol,” according to prosecutors. Moreover, “the complaining witness’s decision to prosecute came two years after the event which severely hindered the investigation,” the prosecutors said.
As for the 2015 case, “there is video evidence of activities of the complaining witness, before and after the alleged assault, which does not support the assertion of a forcible rape, which was the charge in this instance,” the prosecutors noted. “There is also DNA evidence that is problematic, and made it impossible for us to prove that the defendant was the cause of her injury.”
Enochs’ attorney Katharine Liell said in a statement that her client “did not rape anyone and he should never have been charged with these offenses.”
“Due to the misconduct of the lead investigator who presented false and misleading evidence in her public probable cause affidavit — and failed to provide the Court with exculpatory evidence — John Enochs was charged with crimes he did not commit. After John Enochs presented evidence to demonstrate his innocence of the sensationalized and false charges, the prosecutor’s office, on their own motion, dismissed both rape charges,” the statement continued.
Indiana University did not comment on the case but said in a statement it “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.”
“The university’s goals are both to prevent sexual assault whenever possible and to support the victims to the fullest extent possible,” according to the statement.
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