A-State student in custody after alleged sexual assault - The Herald: News

A-State student in custody after alleged sexual assault

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Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 5:33 pm

An A-State student is in custody in relation to an alleged forcible rape that occurred at the Alpha Gamma Rho on Feb. 10.

James Key Chambless, 19, of Lonoke, was arrested Feb. 16 after voluntarily submitting to questioning at UPD in connection to a report of rape that was filed earlier that day.

According to a probable cause affidavit provided by UPD, the victim, a 19-year-old A-State student, was present at a registered fraternity party at AGR on Feb. 9. The victim stated that she entered a bedroom of the residence to retrieve her phone and Chambless followed.

The victim stated that once inside the room, Chambless kissed her consensually but then began “going too far.”

The victim protested, telling Chambless “no,” at which point she alleged that the suspect began to strangle her and pin her to the bed.  The victim then partially lost consciousness and during this time, the victim alleges that Chambless restrained her legs and forcibly assaulted her.

According to a witness statement, Chambless appeared intoxicated.

While in custody, Chambless told police that he did have sex with the victim, but that it was consensual. He then told police that he wanted to drink that night, and “wanted to find a girl.” According to Chambless, the victim did say “no,” but “no force was used.”

The victim’s medical records were obtained by police, which stated that the victim visited an emergency room on Feb. 15, where she complained of neck pain. The records indicate signs of possible strangulation, which correlates with her allegation against Chambless.

According to the police report, the victim is known to Chambless, but they have had no previous relationships.

Chambless is being held at Craighead County Detention Center on felony charges of rape/sexual inercourse/ compulsion and aggravated assault. According to UPD officer Brian Shelton, refused to answer questions or make any “useful statements.”

Arkansas State University Marketing Director Bill Smith released a statement about the incident saying, "Student Conduct takes these matters serious, and will also investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident."

Last fall, three cases of sexual assault were reported on campus. Two of those investigations remain open, pending new leads.

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