New Information: Latest in ASU Professors Rape Case - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR - Will Carter Reports

New Information: Latest in ASU Professors Rape Case

July 24, 2007 - Posted at 6:39 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO- Nearly two months since the investigation into two ASU professors began, detectives say they are no closer to making an arrest.

"At first I thought it was going to go really good. I had a lot of lot of calls and a lot of information. Unfortunately most of that information I got was not what I needed," said Detective Earnest Ward of the Jonesboro Police Dept.

Investigators say when dealing with an alleged rape case, they need hard evidence and fast.

"Whenever a crime is committed, evidence from that crime typically tends to start dissipating immediately, especially this type of crime. The quicker we can start collecting that evidence the quicker we can get a conviction or make an arrest," said Ward.

In June, an ASU student came forward saying Doctor Gregory Russell and his wife Doctor Ellen Lemley had drugged her and raped her, however the allegations came over two months from the time of the alleged incident.

Now police are turning the case over to district prosecutors.

"There is evidence there. However, there is not enough there that I feel comfortable making an arrest. So, I'll let them call the shot on that," said Ward.

Meanwhile, at ASU, University officials say they have hired two full-time and one part-time professors to replace Lemley and Russell. TheIr hopes are that all classes will resume as usual in August.

The school says it will also begin a national search for permanent replacements, and that Juniors and Seniors progress towards graduation will not be interrupted.

As far as the investigation into Doctors Russell and Lemley...

"At the time I'm still awaiting information. I still have two computers at the State Crime Lab being examined as we speak. I will await those results, and that will probably be the end. Once the results come in the case will be closed, one way or the other," said Ward.

We spoke with Dr. Russell and his attorney on the phone Tuesday.  They tell K8 News they currently have no comment until they see which direction the case moves.

Both Russell and his wife Lemley resigned from ASU in June after the allegations surfaced.


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

 

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