Trial date set for student facing rape, sexual assault related charges

HAMILTON, OH—Nicolas Cristescu, a Miami sophomore facing one count of rape, one count of sexual battery and 11 counts of voyeurism, had a trial date set for Jan. 9 – 11, 2018 and was denied lower bond on Monday, Nov. 27, in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas. Cristescu entered Judge Michael A. Oster’s Courtroom A, in the criminal division of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, for his plea/trial setting hearing around 1 p.m. on Nov. 27. After Cristescu’s alleged Oct. 12 attack in a residence room in Heritage Commons against a female student (known in court documents as “Jane Doe”) was reported to MUPD, he was placed in Butler County jail. He has been there for the past six weeks. In the original criminal complaint — resulting in Cristescu’s rape charge in the Butler County Area I Court — Det. Sharon Burkett of MUPD states that “Cristescu video recorded himself having vaginal sex with an unconscious female.” Additionally, in the five initial criminal complaints in reference to pandering obscene material to a minor, Det. Walt Schneider of MUPD says “Cristescu possessed a photograph of a naked, identified sixteen year old on his cell phone.” Those charges were eventually amended to a class one misdemeanor for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. All of these criminal complaints were verified through the Butler County Area I docket search....

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Students, administration discuss race at Miami during Black State of the Union

“What is Love and Honor?” That question guided the conversation during the Black State of the Union address, led by sophomore Jermaine Thomas and senior Jerry Shepherd at 7:11 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The significance of the 7:11 p.m. start time was because the historically black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi was founded in 1911, which is 7:11 in military time. In a statement at the beginning of the forum, President Greg Crawford officially charged professor and coordinator of Black World Studies Rodney Coates with heading up a task force to answer the broader question of how Miami students...

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Sophomore indicted for sexual assault charges

Students were informed via an electronic campus crime alert from the Miami University Police Department that a sexual assault was reported in Heritage Commons on Oct. 12. The initial email, sent out on Oct. 19, indicated that MUPD was still investigating and searching for a college-aged, Asian-American male with brown eyes and brown hair, around 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. Two weeks later, sophomore Nicolas Cristescu stood for one of his first hearings on Thursday, Nov. 2 in the Butler County Area I courthouse in Oxford. Cristescu appeared before the judge wearing an orange Butler County prisoner jumpsuit. Both his hands and feet were shackled. Cristescu was initially charged with one count of rape and sexual battery, five counts of pandering obscene material to a minor, one charge of voyeurism, one charge of marijuana possession and one charge of marijuana paraphernalia. The five charges for pandering obscene material were merged by the state into an amended class one misdemeanor for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Cristescu plead guilty to the misdemeanor as well as the charges related to marijuana possession and paraphernalia in the courthouse last Thursday. His sentencing for those charges was continued to Thursday, Dec. 14 at 1:00 p.m in the Butler County Area I courthouse. However, the charges for rape, sexual battery and voyeurism were all dismissed by the state in the Butler County Area...

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Miami alumni discuss ‘Race in America’ in Cincinnati Freedom Center

Students, faculty and Miami alumni packed the auditorium of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati, eagerly awaiting a discussion on “Race in America.” The voices of everyone assembled died down as the department of media, journalism and film (MJF)’s senior lecturer and area coordinator, Patricia Newberry, introduced the event’s speakers and former Miami alumni: Wil Haygood ‘76, author of “The Butler: A Witness to History” and Boadway Distinguished Scholar in Residence in MJF and CBS correspondent and author, Jeff Pegues ‘92. The event launched a new series, Spirit of ’64: Miami University and the Enduring Legacy of Freedom Summer. The series will explore the lasting effects of Freedom Summer, when about 800 volunteers converged at the Western College for Women — now Miami’s Western Campus — before traveling south to register black voters. Miami President Greg Crawford welcomed the attendees who filled the 300-seat Harriet Tubman Theater. It’s “not enough,” Crawford said, to have discussions about race at Miami. Those conversations need to move beyond campus limits. Both Haygood and Pegues’ experiences in journalism affected their views on race relations in the United States. In his time writing for both The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, race has been integral in much of Haygood’s reporting, from writing about the South African apartheid to following Barack Obama on the campaign trail. Haygood’s biographies, including his most...

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Burnt out: OFD staff stretched thin

Friday, Oct. 20 — 10:26 p.m. The atmosphere in Oxford’s fire department (OFD) can go from zero to 100 in a minute on any given night. One minute, six firefighters/paramedics and EMTs are gathered inside the firehouse trading jabs, making coffee, smoking cigars and stealing spoonfuls of one another’s ice cream sundaes from Spring Street Treats. The next, someone’s radio sounds and the crackle of the Butler County dispatcher barks out a call. Three of the EMTs and one student volunteer training to be a paramedic board an ambulance. The night has just begun. Trouble on the horizon “Our...

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