This archived article was written by: Kris Kohler
Due to lack of evidence, the Carbon County Prosecutor decided to drop all charges against former College of Eastern Utah basketball player Anthony Beach, aka Anthony Oliver, in August.
“Our office has staffed this case and declines prosecution due to insufficient evidence for conviction,” stated Gene Strait in a county press release. “Given the evidence for this case, we believe that it would be extremely difficult to prove lack of consent beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Beach was arrested and booked on the accusation of rape after a party in February and remained in the Carbon County Jail two days before being released, according to his arrest report. Beach denies committing the crime and was never formally charged by the district attorney.
Following the incident, the case was brought before the student judiciary board where testimony was given by the accuser and the accused.
“Everyone has a personal right to be protected here at CEU and that is exactly what our policy on personal responsibility is designed to do,” said officer James Prettyman, head of the CEU campus police. “With a case like this unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of waiting two years for an official verdict. If someone is a potential threat, we have no choice but to make a decision based on the evidence at hand.”
The judiciary board determined more likely than not that Beach committed the crime and he was permanently expelled from CEU. He left school in February, 2007.
“With student conduct hearings, the level of proof is different than it is with a criminal case or even a civil case for that matter. In a criminal case the district attorney will review the evidence and must come to a solid conclusion that the state will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that the actual offense was indeed committed. Whereas in a college situation, the hearing is a non-judicial process,” stated former CEU Dean of Students Bill Osborn. “The courts have ruled that college officials can ultimately decide what individuals they want to make up the student body, unlike elementary and secondary elementary where it is every individual’s constitutional right to attend, going to college is considered a privilege, and like all privileges, it can be taken away. The only right that an individual has in a matter such as this is due process.”
According to students and faculty, there is a definite lack of educational programs available to help teach young adults about the psychological aspect of intimacy, the importance of consent and the differences in how men and women perceive sex.
“I feel that there should be a course offered or even made mandatory at the college level, that would educate that come along with it,” stated Osborn. “I used to have meetings at the resident halls with the athletes to discuss issues covered by our [CEU] personal code of conduct, including sexual consent. Presently I don’t feel that we are even close to par when it comes to this subject.”
According to a recent study by the FBI, 27.7 percent of college women reported a sexual experience since the age of 14 that met the legal definition of rape or attempted rape. In the end, only 37 percent of rapes are reported to the police. Of those reported, only 10 percent are actually brought to trial, and the remaining 27 percent are dropped due to a lack of evidence.
The same study found that 7.7 percent of college men reported perpetrating aggressive behavior which met the legal definition of rape, 84 percent of whom claim that their actions were consensual.