MARYVILLE, MO (KCTV) -- KCTV5 News investigative reporter Emily Sinovic introduces you to a local college freshman who was attacked her first month on campus.
But, she isn’t alone.
An eight-month KCTV5 investigation found more victims with similar stories, all leading to the same suspect and the same dead end.
Northwest Missouri State freshman Faithe Neary says she was sexually assaulted in her dorm room Sept. 23, 2018.
“He forcibly kissed me, he slid his hand down to the waistline of my jeans, he touched my breasts. I had told him, ‘no’ ... he put his hands around my neck and tried to make me pass out,” Faithe said.
Her assailant left when he heard someone knocking on the door.
Faithe later learned the same man who attacked her was accused of raping another female student that same night in the same dormitory.
Both women named the same Northwest Missouri State University male student as the attacker.
That man was taken into police custody but released less than 24 hours later.
Afraid, both Faithe and the second accuser filed for and were granted protection orders. Each gave handwritten detailed accounts of what happened that night.
"He touched me when I didn’t want to be touched. And he grabbed me by the throat and squeezed to the point where I couldn’t breathe… I am fearful he will do this again," Faithe explained.
The second female accuser wrote, "[the accused} had pushed me against my bed, and forcefully put his hand around my neck. He kept his hand on my neck. He forced himself on me. I never told him he could have sex with me."
A judge believed them and signed off on those protection orders, documents that state “the respondent represents a credible threat to the safety of the petitioner." Those protection orders required the accused to stay 100 feet away from both women.
Faithe says that didn’t happen.
KCTV5 met with Faithe in her dorm room on campus again in January 2019.
“I actually bumped into him yesterday. I can’t breathe. It’s like his hand is around my neck again,” she said.
Most days she walks around campus in fear, knowing she may very well see the man who sexually assaulted her.
“My first thought is if he sees me he could potentially come up to this room. He knows where I live. It’s scary, very scary,” Faithe said.
She later learned she wasn’t the first woman to accuse the same man of sexual assault and she wouldn’t be the last.
KCTV5 News later discovered a third female student accused the same man of sexual assault on campus Dec. 8, 2018.
Just like the first two, she also got a protection order against that man
In that protection order, she wrote, "he put his hand around my throat."
There are other details too vulgar to share, but she made a point of writing, “I told him ‘no, please no.'"
Campus police did not arrest the accused.
Police did send out an email alert, warning about the sexual assault, providing a suspect description, even though the identity of the accused was known.
“The suspect is described as white male, slim build, under six feet tall with blond hair."
KCTV5 asked Northwest Missouri State Campus Police Chief, Clarence Green, why police felt the need to send out a vague alert when they knew the accused’s name and knew he’d been named specifically in two previous campus sex assault reports.
"To advise our campus of protection advice they can receive that can help them in an incident them might be involved in in the future," Green responded.
“How many sex assault reports does it take naming the name individual before something is done?” KCTV5 asked.
“We submit those cases to the prosecutor for consideration," Green responded.
Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice did not file charges in any of the three campus sex assault reports.
“I’m just telling you the information when they describe what happened to us when I apply it to the law it doesn’t rise to the level of a criminal act,” Rice said. “I’ve gone over this several times seeing if I could put something together as a collective whole. In the end, this guy is an a**hole. That’s my personal opinion. I don’t have information in here, enough to charge him with a crime.”
After interviewing Rice, KCTV5’s investigation discovered a fourth sex assault report in which a fourth woman accuses the same man of a violent sexual attack. The Maryville Police Department incident report was filed in March 2018, six months before Faithe reported her sexual assault.
The incident report refers to the incident as “second degree sodomy” and includes the narrative from the alleged victim.
Most of the details of this police report are simply too disturbing to share, describing violent, repeated sexual acts causing injury.
The officer notes “she told [the accused] at least six times that she did not want him to touch her under her jeans or underwear and that she did not want to have intercourse with him….she was bruised on her neck and on her breasts where he had bitten her."
There were no charges following this incident report. The woman told the officer she didn’t want the prosecutor to consider filing charges but she called police because “she wanted the incident documented.”
Rice later told KCTV5 he didn’t even know about the report until KCTV5 shared it with him. After reading, he said the contents didn’t change anything.
“I know you’re innocent until proven guilty but they allowed this person to roam campus and make me feel unsafe,” Faithe said after reading that March police incident report.
In April, seven months after Faithe first reported being sexually assaulted, the accused was still on campus, and the university told her the Title IX investigation was finally complete.
“I called my mom crying because I was so frustrated. They basically told me that I was inconsistent in my reports,” Faithe said.
She went on to say, the report essentially cleared the accused of any wrongdoing.
“At some point after so many complaints I feel like you have to take precaution for the majority of the students and say enough is enough. I don’t understand how this could happen for so long,” Faithe said.
KCTV5 requested interviews with both the President of Northwest Missouri State University and the university’s Title IX director. Those requests were declined.
Then, nearly eight months after Faithe’s sexual assault and our repeated questioning of university officials, Faithe received a letter in the mail from Northwest Missouri State University, stating the accused is now expelled, in violation of the school’s sexual misconduct policy. There was no further detail as to why and why now.
KCTV5 wanted to know how many other Faithes are out there, so we asked Northwest Missouri State University for the number of sexual misconduct complaints filed with campus police, the number of sexual misconduct investigations conducted by the university, and what action was taken as a result of those investigations. The university told us they did not have that information in one report, and they refused to prepare a report with that information.
However, months later, when a state senator requested much the same information, the university told him it conducted 37 Title IX investigations in the last five years and imposed some form of discipline in half of those cases.