Harrodsburg man in court in EKU assault case

December 15, 2003|CASSANDRA KIRBY

RICHMOND - An Eastern Kentucky University student was briefly in court last week in connection with two separate assaults that occurred on campus earlier this year.

Francis Stapleton, 21, of Harrodsburg, stood before Judge Brandy Brown in the Madison County District Court room in connection with a charge filed Oct. 1, after a female reported she was grabbed from behind outside the Campbell Building by a male suspect she identified as Stapleton.

He also faces a similar assault charge reported Aug. 26 by a female who was attacked while jogging on University Drive.

According to the police report, the attacker tried to pull her into the bushes near the Burrier Building and pull her shorts down.


Both females were able to escape their attacker without harm.

When the case was called, Brown set a pretrial date for 2 p.m. Feb. 13, when Stapleton will officially plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. If he pleads guilty, he will be sentenced. If he pleads not guilty, the case will move on to trial.

Brown said Stapleton will remain under the same terms he's currently under, which include not violating his bond conditions and to remain off Eastern's campus.

Stapleton's attorney, Jimmy Dale Williams, said Stapleton is going to plead not guilty at the February pretrial.

Stapleton would not comment on the charges.

Also at the court appearance was David Harvey, a registered sex offender that lives on Purcell Drive, located just off Barnes Mill Road, according to Williams.

Harvey's been subpoenaed to appear in court. Williams plans to use his testimony while presenting Stapleton's defense.

"I wouldn't know that boy from nobody, except I read in the case report that he was a registered sex offender and they got a photocopied picture of him," Williams said.

Williams said there was a resemblance between Harvey and the composite of the assault suspect, which police are saying is Stapleton.

"What's really significant about him is not whether he did it or not, who knows, it's that (the Eastern police) did not bother to go over and even take a look at him," Williams said.

"You would think that if someone's name came in, in an effort to try to do a complete investigation, that they would go over and at least eyeball this suspect. They didn't do it until they were up in the courtroom the other day, and then they didn't even talk to him."

Tom Lindquist, the director of Eastern's Division of Public Safety, would not comment on Williams' claims.

Central Kentucky News Articles