Tuesday, February 15, 2011

OC Weekly ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 15, 4:48 P.M

OC Weekly:
Jesse Cheng, the 10-school University of California Governing Board's student regent and a fifth-year Asian American studies major at UC Irvine, was arrested last November for sexual battery.

The Orange County district attorney's office apparently declined to file charges.

The alleged victim--a female graduate student from UCLA--has now brought the case to the attention of UC Irvine's student newspaper, which posted her explosive allegations today.

The New University report by managing editor Traci Garling Lee and editor David Gao states Irvine Police Department's adult arrest roster for the month of November shows Cheng was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery Nov. 4, 2010, at his off-campus apartment at 4771 Campus Dr., Irvine. His alleged victim, identified as "Laya," first reported the incident to cops on Oct. 26, claiming Cheng tried to rape her in his apartment on Oct. 3.

Photo by Daniel A. Anderson/University Communications
UC Student Regent Jesse Cheng reportedly apologized repeatedly to the female victim of an alleged sexual assault in the weeks leading up to his arrest.
Reached via phone today by the Weekly, Irvine Police spokeswoman Lieutenant Julia Engen confirmed the dates for the alleged assault, initial report to police and sexual-battery arrest. Engen did not have the exact date the case was submitted to the OCDA for charges, but she surmised it was the same week as the arrest.

The New U reports that Laya was told by Irvine Police Detective Tom Goodbrand that the OCDA decided to not press charges against Cheng. That's followed by an unidentified OCDA spokesperson saying the agency has "no record of the case under Cheng's name at the time."

Susan Schroeder, the OCDA chief of staff, today gave a possible explanation to theWeekly: The employee keyed into a computer search the wrong spelling of the suspect's name, and without a date of birth, the Cheng file could not be found at the time the New Ucalled.

Engen says she told Lee to contact the OCDA again to find out what happened to the case. It was Schroeder's understanding the reporter did not do that. But Lee tells the Weekly she spoke with the OCDA's office several times throughout last week and gave several spellings of Cheng's name, including his birth date, and nothing came up.

Lee concedes she was encouraged to call the OCDA back if she could get any more arrest information out of Irvine Police but that no additional details were released to her.

"I can assure you we did our due diligence," Lee tells me.

Full Article here:

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