Connor Hendry arraignment photo

Connor Hendry, who was indicted on five felony charges including rape.

CLARIFICATION: Resident assistants were also not notified by the university that the alleged rape had taken place. The initial story mentioned that resident assistants did not notify students.

Former Kent State student Connor Hendry was arraigned Monday for an alleged sexual assault that occurred April 22, 2018, in a university dorm. 

The incident in Centennial Court C Hall was reported within a few hours to police, said Eric Mansfield, the executive director of university media relations.

Students did not receive a FlashALERT after the assault because the victim knew her alleged attacker, Mansfield said.

Kent State is required to follow the Clery Act, a federal statute that aims to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics, according to the Clery Center.

Clery Act Q&A

Info from Student Press Law Center

What is the Clery Act?

It requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to open their crime information to the public in a timely manner.

No laws state an exact definition for timely manner; it is open to interpretation.

What crimes fall under the Clery Act?

Murder, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, manslaughter, arson and certain liquor, drug and weapons violations.

What crimes are subject to university alerts?

Crimes that present a serious or continuous threat to students and employees will trigger the school’s obligation to issue a timely warning.

What information must college police or public-safety departments make available?

All colleges are required to log “what, where and when” of serious reported crimes.

Colleges must disclose “incident reports” that give a more detailed narrative of the investigator’s observations.

Who is responsible for making a report?

The Act mandates that campus security personnel and anyone “who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities” must report acts of campus crime.

What to do if your school ignores Clery Act requirements?

Remind your school officials of their legal obligations. If they ignore the law, you can file a written complaint with the director of the Regional Office of the Ohio Department of Education.

The law states: “Schools must immediately alert the campus community of a ‘significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on campus,’” according to the Student Press Law Center’s Covering Campus Crime Handbook.

Hendry, 20, was indicted in January and charged with five felonies, including rape, sexual battery and abduction, according to Portage County court records. Bond was set at $35,000; Hendry posted 10 percent and was released on a home-arrest monitoring program.

Joseph Hendry, his father and a retired Kent State police lieutenant, signed for his bail.

Hendry applied Tuesday to modify the conditions of his bond to allow him to “attend mandatory drill dates for Ohio Army National Guard, attend weekly Sunday mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church, and travel to meet with his attorneys as necessary,” according to court documents.

Hendry, who is listed as a senior criminology and justice studies major in the university directory, worked as a security aid on campus. It’s unclear if he was working in that capacity when the alleged incident occurred.

He is prohibited from being on university property and from having contact with the alleged victim, according to the Record-Courier.

“I didn’t hear about (the alleged rape) until yesterday when KentWired tweeted it,” said Siana White, a sophomore public relations major. “It makes me even more mad about the situation that I didn’t hear about it.”

A jury trial is scheduled for April 16.

Brian Hellwig, the assistant director of Residence Services, declined to comment. Hellwig oversees the Office of Safety and Security, which provides security for residence halls at the university. 

KentWired made a public records request for the police incident report related to the incident and only received the dispatcher log that said when and where the incident occurred and that it was a sexual offense.

Kent State, in its denial of the records request, stated that the case report is considered investigatory work under sections of the Ohio Revised Code and will not be released at this time.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that incident and offense reports, and underlying statements and interviews, are not confidential investigatory records because they initiate an investigation and are not part of an investigation itself. 

KentWired contacted Tricia Knoles, the Kent Police department’s community resource officer, multiple times; her return call was missed.

KentWired also contacted Hendry, who hung up as soon as the reporter identified herself.

Rachel Hale is the general assignment editor. Contact her at rhale11@kent.edu.

Lydia Taylor is the digital content editor. Contact her at ltaylo49@kent.edu.

 
 
 

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