Defendant in OSU sex-crimes case to stay free on bond
BY SAMANTHA VICENT World Correspondent
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
2/05/13 at 6:30 AM
STILLWATER - A former OSU student charged with four sex crimes will remain free on bond, a Payne County judge decided Monday.
Nathan Cochran, 22, pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual battery.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to allow Cochran to be free on a personal recognizance bond, and Judge Katherine Thomas approved the bond. Cochran is due back in court March 4.
After the hearing, Coyle asserted his client's innocence and said the case is interesting because of the university's involvement.
Cochran has been free on bond since Dec. 13 in connection with three other sexual battery charges, which stem from allegations that he inappropriately touched two men on Nov. 3, 2011, and on Aug. 15. In the most recent case, a man alleged that Cochran tried to put his hands down the man's pants while the man slept on a sofa bed at Cochran's residence Aug. 11.
OSU student conduct officials found Cochran responsible for four sexual misconduct violations Nov. 30 after five male students came forward with allegations against him. On Dec. 11, OSU administrators announced that Cochran had received a three-year suspension, until Jan. 1, 2016. He also is barred from contacting any of the complainants.
In two of those cases, students claimed that Cochran assaulted them on campus property.
Stillwater Police Capt. Randy Dickerson has said many of the students who approached police are not the same as those who notified student conduct officials. Police did not learn of the allegations until Dec. 7, when a reporter from the campus newspaper sought comment.
OSU officials did not immediately provide Cochran's identity to law enforcement, a decision that has called into question OSU's use of federal privacy and campus safety laws. On Dec. 13, OSU regents announced a task force review, which will examine OSU's handling of the case.
Cochran, a Heavener High School alumnus, was the secretary of OSU's Interfraternity Council during the fall 2012 semester.
Former OSU student Nathan Cochran (right) walks through the Payne County Courthouse on Monday with his attorneys Jay Husbands (left) and John Coyle. SALLY ASHER / The Daily O'Collegian