November 7, 1995 in City

Two Ewu Students Face Separate Rape Charges School Officials Not Sure How To Interpret Higher Numbers

By The Spokesman-Review
 

(From For the Record, Wednesday, November 8, 1995): A woman who reported being raped in a dormitory room at Eastern Washington University on Oct. 26 is a student at the school. An article in Tuesday’s newspaper said incorrectly that she was not a student.

Two Eastern Washington University students are facing separate rape charges after two women reported being attacked in the past month.

Police last week arrested John W. Little, 24, of Lebanon, Ore., on a charge of third-degree rape.

Little was booked into the Spokane County Jail last Thursday and released on $5,000 bond, said Ron Sperber, EWU’s public safety director.

University administrators said they aren’t sure whether the rape reports point to an upswing in crime on campus, or a greater willingness of victims to go to police.

Sperber said the university typically handles one rape complaint a year.

Valaray Irvin, director of the counseling center at EWU, said a lot of campus rape victims seek counseling, but never report the crimes to police, especially those involving the type of attack known as date rape.

She said she is encouraged by the fact the two women went to police.

Little is accused of raping a Spokane woman in his Pearce Hall dormitory room on Oct. 26 in what has the characteristics of a date rape, Sperber said.

The woman is not a student, Sperber said, and Little was evicted from the dormitory while awaiting trial.

In a separate incident, EWU freshman football player Tony Ledenko, 19, of Cashmere, Wash., is facing a charge of second-degree rape after a woman reported an attack Oct. 14 in his Morrison Hall dormitory room.

The Easterner, the campus newspaper, reported three other students knew about the attack when it happened but did not intervene.

Ledenko was suspended from the football team and evicted from his dorm.

Also in October, another EWU student was arrested and charged with the rape of a real estate saleswoman while she was showing a home in south Spokane. The suspect, Byron Scherf, 37, was paroled two years ago, after being sentenced to life in prison for a Pierce County rape.

On the campus, a lot of attention is being given to the issue of rape as a result of the assaults. Residence hall staff were called to an emergency meeting. Counseling is being made available. The student newspaper is giving extensive coverage to the crimes.

“These are not random, atypical incidents,” Irvin said of last month’s reported assaults.

The problem of women being victimized by men is nothing new on college campuses, she said.

, DataTimes


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