STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Nearly a year later, Georgia Southern University Police say the department has gathered all the evidence needed to arrest and charge a man with the Oct. 2018 rape of a student.
Tyler Richards is the accused in the case.
According to the police report, a university officer was on patrol when he was flagged down by a woman in a parking lot. She told the officer that she was scared and didn’t know how she got there. She also said she believed she had been raped by a man named Tyler.
The alleged victim also told the officer she had been at a couple of nearby bars. The officer noted in his report the woman didn’t smell strongly of alcohol.
The officer took the woman to an advocacy center in town called the Teal House, where a sexual assault kit was completed. The evidence gathered in that kit led police to arrest Richards early last week.
Since then, there have been two other unrelated cases of women coming forward, alleging they were sexually assaulted.
Georgia Southern’s interim director for Equal Opportunity and Title Nine says sometimes breaks in cases, or just ongoing educational efforts can sometimes lead others to come forward.
“When we do make a big push to get out and provide this education and this training to our faculty and staff, then the next step from there is we’re going to see more of these reports that we might not have received in the past. And again, that gives us that opportunity to reach out and provide the support that the students need,” Amber Culpepper said.
Culpepper said students can come directly to their office if they’re not sure what to do.
“When a report comes into us first from faculty or staff or from the student directly, we do not automatically report that to law enforcement. We let that be the decision of the reporting party, of the affected student. If that student asks us for our assistance in reporting that, then we are certainly available to assist, but we want that to be their decision,” Culpepper said.
A Georgia Southern representative says Richards is not enrolled at the university.