Criminal Investigation Begins into ASU Rape Scandal - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR - Will Carter Investigates

Criminal Investigation Begins into ASU Rape Scandal

Updated June 9, 2007 6:24 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-In a statement to police it is alleged that Doctor Gregory Russell and his wife, Doctor Ellen Lemley, drugged a female student and took her to their home on the evening of April 19th.

The victim alleges she awoke in their bed the next morning covered in blood from the waist down.

Both professors resigned from Arkansas State University on June 1st, amidst an investigation by the college.

So why did it take so long for the criminal investigation to begin?"It really needed to be the complainant that came here.  I do understand why the University didn't call.  It's not really their position to call.  It should be the victim's responsibility to call us."

Detective Ernest Ward says he's talked to nearly thirty people, and read hundreds of emails from students of the University, but right now he's still not sure what actions will be taken.

"It's still very early in the investigation.  I'm gathering pieces of the puzzle.  Once I gather all of the pieces I'll start putting them together.  Right now I'm still not at liberty to say what all I've been told," said Ward.

He says one of the more challenging things is the amount of time that passed.

"The longer the time span, the longer evidence grows cold and disappears.  The stories change.  They seem to grow sometimes.  Different people hear things and they will call me, and often there is not a lot to it," said Ward.

But he does say it's a case that probably won't disappear any time soon.

"It's going to be an interesting case.  It's going to be an educational case for me," said Ward.

Detective Ward urges anyone with any information to contact him at 870-935-6649 or email him at eward@jonesboro.org.

*Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.


June 7, 2007 - Posted at 5:45 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-Two Arkansas State University professors have resigned amidst allegations of rape by a female student.

K8 news has learned Doctor Gregory Russell and his wife, Doctor Ellen Lemley resigned from their positions from the University June first.

Now a police investigation is underway.

We spoke with Doctor Russell on the phone Thursday morning.  He says he can't comment, other than to say he and his wife's attorney are preparing a slander/libel lawsuit against the student and possible other parties.

But no matter the outcome, the allegations of rape are serious.

Both Doctor Gregory Russell and his wife Ellen Lemley could usually be found teaching Criminology classes in Arkansas State University's International Student Center.

But now, their doors are closed, marking the resignation of both after allegations of rape by a student.

In a request for an order of protection, the victim alleges that on April 19th, she and her friends were at a downtown restaurant having dinner. She says that Dr. Russell and Dr. Lemley asked her and her friends to have dinner at their table. She says a little bit later that she believes her drink was drugged, and she woke up at the house of Doctors Russell and Lemley.

At the couples home on Chimney Chase Drive, the victim alleges that she awoke naked with her lower body covered in blood.

She claims former ASU professor, Doctor Russell told her she was at his house, and moments later his wife, Ellen Lemley, also an ASU professor climbed into bed with her.

It is reported that Russell later took the victim home and over the next few days, both he and his wife allegedly made numerous phone calls to the victim saying things like..."I love you and want to be with you."

Officials with Arkansas State, say they are taking the matter seriously.

"We take any and every allegation very seriously, because we want to protect the welfare and interest of our students, but we also want to protect the integrity of our University," said Vice Chancellor, Dr. Glen Jones.

When we asked if the University was aware of the allegations they answered saying,

"Yes, we were aware the allegations were made, and according to University policy on Sexual Harrassment, when allegations are made the University very promptly investigates those allegations."

But before the investigation was complete, both Russell and Lemley resigned from their positions.

K8 News continues to follow this story.  Coming up Saturday on K8 News at six, Will Carter sits down with police to talk about their investigation and where this case could go from here.


Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.

 

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