Tahlequah Daily Press

January 7, 2013

Fourth charge filed against OSU student

Staff Writer

STILLWATER — Prosecutors in Payne County have charged a former Oklahoma State University student with a fourth count of sexual battery.

Nathan Michael Cochran, 22, was charged with three similar counts last month. The newest charge alleges Cochran sexually assaulted a male on Aug. 11, 2012, while the victim was trying to sleep on a bed.

According to court records, the victim alleges Cochran put his hands on the victim’s lower back and leg and tried to place his hands inside the man’s pants. Cochran allegedly told the victim he wanted to know what it was like to have sexual interactions with a man.

The first three allegations indicate Cochran committed sexual battery against two male victims: one in the fall of 2011 and another last August.

Police in Tahlequah were contacted by Stillwater police after authorities learned one victim in the investigation may be from Tahlequah, and one of the alleged assaults may have occurred in Tahlequah. Cochran has not been charged with a crime in Cherokee County.

Investigators in Stillwater said there could be several more victims, and those with whom they have not spoke are not the same students who came forward to OSU officials last year.

The case unfolded after alleged victims of the assaults voiced their concerns to OSU officials in November. After the university conducted an investigation, Cochran was suspended for three years.

School officials said they urged the victims to contact police, but OSU leaders did not do so themselves. Stillwater police learned of the alleged sexual assaults when an email was sent to a reporter at the OSU newspaper, who then contacted police for comment.

Cochran turned himself in last month and was later released on a $100,000 bond.