According to Fox 59, a victim suffered a sexual assault within her own dorm room on Ball State University located at 2000 W University Ave, Muncie, IN 47306.
Police report that the assault took place inside her university dorm room on October 4, 2019. The victim filed the police report with the sexual assault charges in July of 2020.
The suspect, Gabriel Van Nicholaus Austin, is facing charges of raping the victim one night following an off-campus party. The victim alleges that she met Austin on social media before agreeing to meet at the party. Austin returned with the victim to her dorm room, and even though the victim allowed the suspect to spend the night, she alleges that she repeatedly told him no before the sexual assault took place.
After the suspect, the victim took a shower before going to her family home in Indianapolis. When there, she had a rape kit completed, according to the court report. The victim was informed that she had been exposed to HIV but was confirmed not to have it.
The victim has stated that the abuse has left her unable to concentrate on her school work and fears that she may lose her scholarship.
On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, Austin was charged with rape but has a track record including the following charges:
Attorney contributor Jeff Gibson has represented victims of sexual assault in lawsuits for years. He has shared some knowledge on the rights of victims sexually abused on a college campus.
"Students often attend colleges and universities that are away from home, and for some, it can be the first time living away from the security of their parents. Colleges and universities are legally obligated to maintain security on the campus and inside the dorms. Safety measures that may include surveillance cameras, proper lighting, and accessible reporting systems should be implemented to ensure the students' safety."
"If these or similar safety measures have not been provided for students, families can look at their legal options if their child is assaulted on the campus. The protection of the students should be a high priority for the administration of the campus. However, if they fail to provide a level of security, the victim of a crime on the campus could have sufficient grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit. These victims could even be entitled to financial compensation. In the event of sexual assault on campus, the victim is highly encouraged to accept the counsel of an experienced sexual assault attorney."