Crime

Penn State ROTC student accused of indecent assault

A Penn State ROTC student has been bound over for trial after facing charges of indecent assault against a classmate.

Corey Kohler, 21, of Dover, is the student in question. According to a criminal complaint filed by State College police on May 5, he was accused of touching a fellow ROTC member without her consent after an ROTC ball and an evening of partying in early April.

During a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge Carmine Prestia, the female student testified that she had a few drinks the evening of the ball but was not intoxicated.

When she was ready to leave, she said, Kohler asked to walk her home, which she initially rejected. She eventually relented, but told him several times during the walk that he could turn back and return to his home.

The evening was a very cold night, she said, so when they arrived at her apartment, she offered to let him stay on the couch. However, when they entered the apartment, she discovered her roommate had guests over who were already sleeping on the couch, so she offered him space on her bedroom floor.

She made it clear she was not going to allow Kohler to come onto her bed, the complaint said.

After falling asleep at about 5 a.m., she testified, she awoke at some point to find Kohler had climbed into bed with her and was rubbing her body. She said she froze, unsure of what to do next, before falling back to sleep some time later.

When she awoke, she said she locked herself in her bathroom for a few hours and gave Kohler directions back to his apartment. He then left. She texted Kohler several days later, the complaint said, asking if they could talk about that night, to which he replied, “Yeah I’m sorry about that.”

Kohler was interviewed by State College police, according to the complaint. He stated that at some point he was cold and got into the woman’s bed with her, but due to his level of intoxication, could not recall touching her.

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller argued that $75,000 bail be set for Kohler, saying after the female student generously let him stay for the night, he responded by assaulting her.

“This case needs bail to be set,” Parks Miller said. “People need to know that sexual assault is serious in this county.”

Kohler’s attorney, Matt McClenahen, countered Parks Miller by saying Kohler has been cooperative for the entire investigation. When summoned by police for questioning, he responded to give his statement and was punctual in attending his preliminary hearing.

“There’s no reason to think he won’t show up for his preconference and his trial,” McClenahen said. “He’s now being punished by setting a high bail simply because he decided to have a preliminary hearing, which is his right.”

Prestia agreed that $75,000 was too high, but set a $20,000 unsecured bail with a no-contact provision. A trial has not yet been scheduled.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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