A student from Missouri State University has been charged for allegedly raping a woman hours after she attended a Me Too rally in Springfield over the weekend.
According to a report by the Kansas City Star, Zachary Alperin, 22, went to some bars with the victim after the rally ended, and then went to the woman’s room on campus, per the court documents.
In her statement, the victim said that she allowed Zachary to sleep in her room but told him not to touch her because she was drunk, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
The woman told police that she fell asleep and woke up to find Alperin lying naked on top of her. Per the Springfield News-Leader, the woman “alleged that Alperin performed sex acts on her and she pushed him away.”
Alperin allegedly confessed to performing sexual acts on the victim, as reported by the Springfield News-Leader.
“I guess I tried to force myself on her, and I feel like such a terrible person for it,” the culprit told police.
Alperin is currently being held at the Greene County Jail on a bond of $20,000 following the investigation. He has been charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy.
According to state law, if someone is convicted of rape and sodomy in the second degree, they can incur a maximum imprisonment of seven years, along with fines up to $10,000 for each offense.
Following the news, organizers of the Me Too rally in Springfield expressed their shock at the incident and said that they have been “devastated” by the news. However, they appreciated that the victim mustered the courage to report the rape, a report by NBC News said.
“We are devastated. The thought that someone would leave our rally feeling so encouraged, just to be raped a few hours later… it is almost too much,” the organizers wrote in a Facebook post, as quoted by NBC News.
“If the woman who attended our rally that the article is referring to sees this, please know this: we are so proud of you for your bravery in coming forward. We are so sorry. We believe you. This was not your fault in any way. We are here for you,” it further read.
Although Alperin allegedly confessed his crime, people expressed mixed feelings about the incident on social media. While most people condemned the incident in strong words, some asked the woman to “prove” that she had been raped.
“She must have evidence!! It is too easy to accuse-ruin a man’s life,” one user wrote on Springfield News-Leader‘s Facebook page.