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Victim 'frustrated' by lack of prison time in IU rape case

John Enochs receives probation for battery
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 08:36:20-04

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Outrage poured in from across the country Monday over the plea deal for a former Indiana University student accused of two counts of rape.

John Enochs agreed to plead guilty to battery in exchange for prosecutors dropping two counts of rape against him.

Monroe County Judge Marc Kellams then sentenced Enochs to one year probation, records show.

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Enochs was initially charged with raping two separate women while at IU, one in October 2013 and another in April 2015.

It is RTV6 policy to not identify rape victims unless they give permission to do so.

Last week, Enochs was convicted of misdemeanor battery, which means touching his victim, Jane Doe, in a “rude, insolent, or angry manner, resulting in moderate bodily injury.”

Jeff Herman, a Boca Raton attorney for Jane Doe in a civil suit against IU and Delta Tau Delta – Enochs' fraternity – said the victim is “frustrated” by the criminal sentence and lack of prison time.

She alleges she was drinking prior to the assault and did not remember much, but a rape kit showed she suffered a laceration and witnesses said Doe repeatedly stated, “I kept saying no.”“This obviously has been devastating for her,” said Herman. “It has forced her to have to leave school. For her, it’s a life sentence.”

Herman said Jane Doe is hoping for justice through her civil lawsuit.

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“She’s got a long road ahead of her,” said Herman. “Enough is enough, it’s out of control. The only way we’re going to get change and protect other girls is to file a civil lawsuit.”

Enochs' defense attorney Kitty Liell said her client was not willing to be interviewed on camera, but said Enochs did not rape anyone and should never have been charged with the offenses:

"As the Monroe County prosecutors' office has acknowledged through their voluntary dismissal of the rape charges, John Enochs did not rape anyone and he should never have been charged with these offenses.

Rather, 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.

John Enochs did admit to conduct in one instance that the Court found to be a misdemeanor. He is profoundly sorry for his lack of judgment and has apologized for his conduct.

Issues of alcohol and sexual misconduct are serious issues on college campuses across the country, but such issues are trivialized when law enforcement misrepresents the true facts and fails to investigate the allegations fully and fairly."

The Monroe County prosecutor’s office also released a statement saying the sentence was “frustrating” but pointed to numerous evidence problems in both cases including witnesses under the influence of alcohol, problematic DNA evidence, and video and photographs inconsistent with rape:

“This case presented a very unusual set of circumstances in that we had two unrelated accusations, two years apart.  That was an important consideration in our initial decision to charge.  However, under the law, a jury considering one case would not be allowed to know about the other.  After the case(s) was filed, evidence continued to be developed that lead us to the conclusion that neither case, standing alone, presented sufficient evidence to prove rape. 

In the older case, the complaining witness had no specific recollection of the events; the few witnesses could not recall important details due to the passage of time and the consumption of alcohol; and the complaining witness’s decision to prosecute came two years after the event which severely hindered the investigation.  There were also photographs that contradicted the assertion that the complaining witness was incapable of engaging in consensual activity shortly before the alleged assault.  This is important because the complaint was that she was “unaware” that the sex was occurring due to her consumption of alcohol.  Indiana law has a provision in the rape statute that makes this charge available to prosecutors.

The more recent case had similar evidentiary problems.  In that 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.  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.

This turn of events was frustrating for us as prosecutors, due to the fact that there were two complaints against the defendant.  That fact is the reason we continued to pursue accountability on his part which lead to this plea agreement.  It should be noted that he entered a plea of guilty to Battery as a Level 6 Felony.  The decision to enter it as a misdemeanor was within the Court’s discretion.”

Monroe County Judge Marc Kellams has not returned a phone call from Call 6 Investigates as to why he entered the battery conviction as a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

Enochs did not graduate from IU, and left the university in May 2015. However, it’s unclear if he was expelled or if he left on his own.

“Indiana University is not able to publicly comment on individual student misconduct cases, including the final disposition of those cases,” said IU spokesman Mark Land. “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.”

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Dr. Jennifer Drobac, an IU McKinney School of Law professor and expert on sexual misconduct, said the sentence should not dissuade rape victims from coming forward.

“Victims must realize that coming forward is still the right thing to do because it puts the perpetrator’s name out there,” said Drobac. “More women will protect themselves and people are alerted to this perpetrator. Hopefully the perpetrator will be stopped in the future by this public condemnation.”

Enochs' defense attorney told Call 6 investigates IU police’s lead investigator on the case “presented false and misleading evidence in her public probable cause affidavit” and failed to provide the court with evidence that would have proven his innocence.

IUPD Lt. Craig Munroe said nothing was intentionally left off the probable cause.

In the 2013 case, the woman alleged Enochs raped her at the Delta Tau Delta house while she was passed out.

Call 6 Investigates was not able to reach the alleged victim in the 2013 case.