LIZ ANASTASIADIS & AARON SKUBBY, Editor-in-Chief & News Editor—A warrant for arrest was served on October fifth for Denison student George E. Peele ‘21 following an accusation of one count of rape, a first-degree felony, according to a Licking County Common Pleas case filed on the same day.
Peele, a 22 year old from Piscataway, New Jersey, according to an investigation by the Granville Police Department, entered the victims’ dorm room when she was asleep and sexually assaulted her. Peele told police his coach would “get him out of it,” in a Newark Advocate story published on October 8 about the incident.
A grand jury will review the case for possible indictment and possible additional charges. If convicted, Peele faces up to 11 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.
During a bond hearing on the afternoon of Monday, October 5, Magistrate Mattie Klein set Peele’s bond at $200,000.
There will be a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. on October 15 at the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, located at 1 Courthouse Square in Newark, OH.
As a result of the story published in The Advocate, Campus Safety and Denison administration received several questions from students who were concerned about their safety and that of the campus community.
On October 9, the morning after the article was published, Dr. Alex Miller, Vice President of Student Development, sent out a “Campus Safety Update” via email to all students, faculty and staff.
In the email, Miller said “We are committed to maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all members of our community. When any individual presents a health or safety threat to students or campus, we remove and bar that person from campus and issue no-trespass and no-contact orders. We are cooperating with the investigation and are monitoring the status of the arrested student carefully. If there comes a point at which there is information the campus community needs for safety reasons, we will share it immediately.”
He ended the email by offering resources to the community: “If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime, please seek help and resources from Campus Safety (740-587-6482) or dial 911 in an emergency.”
“Students with a report or concerns about sexual assault are urged to contact Denison’s Title IX Coordinator, Stephanie Jackson, or any of our Deputy Coordinators, or may seek support from any of the multiple other counseling and support resources available at Denison and through external partners. More information on support resources, including contact information, can be found here: https://denison.edu/campus/title-ix/who-can-i-talk-to.”
The University didn’t mention anything to the campus community about the incident prior to the article being published.
When asked by The Denisonian, Dr. Miller said that “when the assault was reported, Denison immediately contacted the Granville Police department and the individual was arrested. The individual remains in custody. As a result, there is no current safety threat to our campus community.”
Miller could not comment on whether the student has been expelled but said “in any matter involving violence or assault we conduct an individualized assessment and where there is any concern for the safety of campus we impose an immediate interim suspension and a ban of the individual on campus. We err on the side of safety for our campus community.”
EDITORS’ NOTE: As of October 15, George Peele has been indicted by a grand jury. The Denisonian will follow up with more information on the indictment and trial as soon as possible.