Rape charge against UC Berkeley student dismissed

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Update 11/6/2018: The student’s name has been retracted from this article because The Daily Californian was sent documentation that they received a factual finding of innocence from an Alameda County Superior Court judge.

On Friday, a rape charge against a UC Berkeley student was dismissed after prosecutors concluded that they were innocent of committing the crime.

The student, 20, was charged with rape by use of drugs last week after an alleged sexual assault Sept. 27 was reported. The woman whom the student was charged with assaulting, identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe,” was “prevented from resisting by an intoxicating, anesthetic, and controlled substance,” according to the court documents.

But after reviewing the evidence provided by Berkeley Police Department and interviewing Jane Doe, district attorney spokesperson Teresa Drenick said, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office determined that the student didn’t commit any sexual assault Sept. 27 and motioned to dismiss the charges.

The charges were dismissed Friday, the same day the student was scheduled to enter a plea. Judge Gregory Syren granted an 851.8 motion filed by the defense — indicating a factual finding of innocence — that seals off and destroys the records of the student’s arrest. The motion differs from expungement because the motion, under Penal Code 851.8, indicates the student shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place.

Drenick said Jane Doe was apprised of the decision to dismiss charges and kept informed of the case’s progress.

On the night the student was arrested, detectives from BPD’s special victims unit executed a search warrant at the Delta Upsilon fraternity, where they detained the student.

The dismissal of the charge against the student comes alongside two crime alerts released Thursday and Friday by UCPD reporting alleged sexual assaults at fraternities. Five individuals said they were given “roofies” and sexually assaulted last weekend at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, while a leader in Theta Delta Chi reported that one member of his fraternity had sexually assaulted another member.

Delta Kappa Epsilon lost its campus affiliation in 2009 after allegations of hazing, fire safety hazards and other student conduct violations.

According to Berkeleyside, which first reported that the student’s charges had been dismissed, the student’s attorney, Ted Cassman, said although the student’s innocence demonstrates that the system works, he and his family suffered from “exaggerated” and “inaccurate” information disseminated after his arrest.

Katy Abbott covers crime and courts. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @katyeabbott.