Huffpost Crime

Ohio University Rape Report Leads Police To Examine Social Media Posts

Posted: Updated:

ATHENS, Ohio -- ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Onlookers may have thought they were seeing consensual public sex when they took photos of a couple and posted them on social media sites, but investigators are now examining the images in connection with a rape report, a police chief said.

Sharing such images may seem despicable, but the photos are helping police in their investigation, the chief said.

On Sunday evening, the female Ohio University student reported "unconsenting sexual conduct" with a man between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. that day on a street near the university's campus, about 70 miles southeast of Columbus, according to an Athens police report.

Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle told the Athens News for a story Wednesday that the witnesses may not have understood what they were seeing.

"It may have looked consensual to them," he said.

The photos show the couple against a bank window. Pyle told WBNS-TV in Columbus that the images and a video posted that night are essential to the investigation.

"While it certainly to the lay person would appear to be despicable that they're posting this information, it also assisted us in our investigation," Pyle told the station. "So a real double-edged sword."

Pyle declined further comment Wednesday when contacted by The Associated Press. He told the newspaper the woman who made the report and the man seen in the postings are cooperating with police.

Ohio University said in a statement it is assisting the investigation and providing support to the student who made the report.

Police in Steubenville in eastern Ohio used widely circulated photos of a 16-year-old girl raped by two high school football players last year in their investigation. A judge convicted the teens of rape in March.

Also on HuffPost:

It Happens Here: Photos Of Men And Women Who Were Sexually Assaulted At Amherst College
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Rape Allegations Follow Viral Photo of Public Sex at Ohio University

Video of alleged rape at Ohio University spread on Instagram ...

Alleged Rape Victim in Ohio Learns About Her Assault By Watching ...

Passersbys take photos and videos of woman 'being raped on ...

Photo of couple engaging in public sex act actually picture of rape ...

Police: Online images being examined after Ohio University ...

Ohio University Students, Alumni Live-Tweet Alleged Sexual Assault ...

Online images probed after Ohio University student's rape report, police say

Online Images Examined after Ohio University Rape Report

Ohio University Students, Alumni Live-Tweet Alleged Sexual Assault During ...

Ohio University Police Chief Criticizes Crowd For Filming Apparent...