Caskey Pleads Not Guilty

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Former USF student Ryan Caskey was arrested last spring on four accounts of rape and assault against four other USF students.

Since then, Caskey has been released on bail and is awaiting the next step. Lieutenant Kevin Dillon, the public safety officer in charge of the case, said, “This case may or may not go to trial.”

Caskey’s bail was set at $800,000 as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 19. Dillon said Caskey posted bail through property as opposed to cash.

Caskey then pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing on May 14, where a judge heard initial evidence from the prosecution and the testimonies of the four accusers.

Of the hearing, Dillon said, “The judge decided to hold him over on all four charges and issued stay away orders in regard to the accusers and the USF campus.”  The prosecution had filed an additional four counts of aggravated assault; however, since there was no weapon used, these charges were dropped.

In the state of California, rape is a felony, whereas aggravated assault without a weapon is a misdemeanor charge that carries a lesser sentence. Rape carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison for each account.

Last spring, immediately following the accusations and arrest, a group of students held several forums tackling various issues surrounding sexual assault and sexual harassment at USF.

Even though the forums have ended, these students’ work continues through the newly created Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Resource Center (GSWRC).

Dillon said, “As severe as the issue was, it motivated the students to be a part of it.”  He noted that approximately 60 percent of the undergraduate population at USF is female, thus, “It makes sense to have a center for them.”  Dillon said that the forum discussions and the creation of the GSWRC are important because, “They reflect what students care about.”

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