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Former NIU Police Officer’s Sexual Assault Charges Dismissed

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Following a hearing regarding the handling of the investigation of former Northern Illinois University (NIU) police officer Andrew Rifkin on sex assault charges by NIU police, the DeKalb County State’s Attorney indicated that all charges against Rifkin would be dropped. Rifkin was fired from the NIU police department in October, 2011, amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted a NIU student.

Rifkin’s case took an unexpected turn this month when it became apparent that the NIU police department had failed to turn over witness reports from the investigation indicating that Rifkin and the student in question had engaged in consensual sexual activity. Those reports later resurfaced in a personnel file, and a DeKalb County judge ruled that the police department had intentionally withheld the evidence from all parties. Following that ruling, the judge ordered the NIU police department to execute an affidavit attesting that all evidence had been handed over to county prosecutors regarding the Rifkin investigation, and university officials appointed a new administrator to oversee the department. That same day, at approximately 10:00 p.m., NIU Police Chief Donald Grady apparently ordered a campus police IT specialist to remove between 60 and 70 files from the chief’s computer, although the content of those files was unclear. NIU placed Grady on administrative leave the following day.

This case shows how easily a person can be accused of a serious crime, even without proper evidence to support those accusations. Although Rifkin will not suffer a conviction in this particular case, he is likely to already have suffered damage to his reputation and certainly to his career and future employment prospects due to the allegations that have been made. For these reasons, it is essential that any accusations of criminal activity, and particularly sex offenses, be taken very seriously.

If you or a loved one find yourselves accused of a sex crime or any type of serious crime, you should immediately contact an experienced Naperville criminal defense attorney for help. A strong defense can help uncover irregularities in the investigation and evidence that may lead to the dismissal or reduction of criminal charges against you.

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