By Brooke Schultz 
Editor-in-Chief

A former Washington College student has been convicted of fourth degree sex offense of another former WC student.

Fope Fadojutimi, 18, was convicted of the misdemeanor charge on Thursday, March 22 by a jury of seven men and five women in Kent County Circuit Court. In Maryland, fourth degree sex offense is punishable by no more than one year of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines. A sentencing date has not been set as of print time Monday.

During the same trial, Fadojutimi was also found not guilty for the most serious charge, second degree rape, nor was he found guilty of second-degree sex offense and second-degree assault.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour.

The offense occurred on the College campus and at the time the accuser and Fadojutimi were WC students.

Fadojutimi was expelled from WC following three reports of sexual assault involving him in September 2016. He was charged in December of 2016 as an adult, despite being 17 at the time of the alleged incident.

At the time, Dean of Students Sarah Feyerherm explained that every case is different, but when they received the two reports, “one after another,” she said, that involved the same student, they were prompted to act quickly.

“As soon as we had two cases back-to-back, we said, ‘This is significant. And we have to take into account the safety of the campus.’ And that’s when we made the decision to invoke what we call the ‘interim measure of removal from campus,’” she said in a previous interview with The Elm.

Fadojutimi is now attending another college. The accuser left WC last semester because, she said, she needed “to get away.”

The Elm does not name victims of alleged sexual assault, harassment, or misconduct.

In her hour long testimony, the woman told the jury that she met Fadojutimi during freshman orientation in 2016. On Sept. 8, 2016, the woman said that she went to a friend’s dorm on campus for what she called a “social gathering.” She and Fadojutimi left together to smoke marijuana with a third person. After, she returned with Fadojutimi to his room to watch TV.

Later that evening, the two had sexual intercourse, which the woman said was not consensual.

In tears, the woman testified that she said no and asked him to stop.

After, the woman testified that she went back to her room before she went to her roommate’s friend’s room to contact her roommate. She told her roommate what happened and they brought her to the Department of Public Safety, where she filed a report.

She testified that Public Safety took her to the hospital for a rape kit.

Under cross-examination from defense attorney George Oswinkle, the woman had difficulty remembering the details of the night, such as exact mannerisms and the clothing she and Fadojutimi were wearing.

One of the women the accuser spoke to that night, and individuals to whom the woman gave statements following the alleged incident, including Public Safety Officer Burton Brown, Cpl. Michelle Guerriero of the Chestertown Police Department, and nurse Leslie Collier, were witnesses for the state.

Fadojutimi was the only witness for the defense. He stated that the woman returned to his room voluntarily and that they had consensual intercourse.

“She did not say ‘no’; she did not push me away,” he testified.

In his closing remarks, prosecutor Robert Mowell said, “Unless she’s the world’s greatest actress, she was upset by what happened. The defense has made a lot of smoke about how she’s testified here today. ‘Oh, it wasn’t consistent with what she said 18 months ago.’… I think that’s natural that she would not remember certain specifics or be confused 18 months down the road about this traumatic event.”

“Her memory was very sketchy. Not only did she not remember today what happened 18 months ago. She didn’t remember what happened the next day,”  Oswinkle said during his closing remarks. “She was not a good witness. She didn’t know a number of things; she didn’t remember a lot of things. …Why was she upset? Well she had some reason to be upset. You’ve heard of buyer’s remorse. … That’s what happened here.”

Following the report of a second WC student in September 2016, Fadojutimi was charged with rape second degree, sex offense second degree, sex offense fourth degree, and second degree assault. He is set to appear for a trial for those charges on April 26 in Circuit Court for Kent County.

 

The Elm

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