Ian Elliott sexual assault case to go to trial
Following two days of a hearing and preliminary exam, the sexual assault case against former Central Michigan University Student Government Association President Ian Elliott was bound over to Isabella County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Trial Court Judge Eric Janes made a ruling to send the case to Circuit Court. A trial date has not been set. This was the second time this case has been brought to court. The case was set to go to trial on May 7, 2018, but was dismissed by the acting Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Holmes on April 6, 2018.
Elliott, 24, is charged with two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. He is accused of sexually assaulting CMU graduate student Rachel Wilson on Aug. 31, 2016 after meeting her at The Cabin.
In an interview with Central Michigan Life, Wilson described feeling disoriented after meeting up with Elliott, even though she had only consumed 1 1/2 beers. Later, Elliott took her to his apartment where she vomited and passed out. She told police he sexually assaulted her after she regained consciousness.
During Monday’s hearing, three new witnesses provided their testimonies against Elliott using similar experiences that they have had with him.
Tuesday’s preliminary examination introduced two additional witnesses who were in contact with Wilson and Elliott the night the incident occurred.
Solomon, 23, is a CMU alumna and gave the first testimony during Tuesday's hearing. She met Wilson and Elliott the night of the incident through a mutual friend, Preston Haven. Haven had invited Solomon to go to The Cabin with him.
Solomon told the court that Haven introduced her to Elliott later in the night and saw Elliott talking with Wilson, who she didn’t know at that point. She said that there was “no affection” happening between the two. Solomon said at some point, Elliott announced that a cab had arrived, and Wilson and Elliott left. She, again, said she saw no affection between the two and felt comfortable letting Wilson leave with Elliott.
Later, Solomon said Haven received a call from Elliott, who said he needed help with Wilson because she was sick. The pair went to Elliott's house. Upon arriving, Solomon said that Elliott greeted them at the door and was nonchalant and seemed to "not care" about Wilson, who was throwing up in his room. Solomon went to check on Wilson, cleaned the vomit off of her face and clothes and changed her clothes. Solomon said that it was like “dressing a mannequin” because Wilson had very little control over her motor skills.
"It would have been easier to dress a baby," Solomon said.
Solomon gave Wilson water and waited with her until she stopped vomiting and dry-heaving. Solomon said she soon left the bedroom and closed the door before joining the men in the living room and later leaving.
Preston Haven, 23, was in the same fraternity as Elliott, Phi Kappa Tau, in 2015 and was a mutual friend of Wilson and Elliott. Haven and Wilson made plans to grab a drink on the night of Aug. 31 at The Cabin. While at the bar, Haven introduced Wilson to Elliott.
Later that night at The Cabin, Haven said that Wilson, who had just started drinking her second beer, went to the bathroom and came back seeming disorientated. He also noticed that she seemed like she wanted to leave the bar.
“I could see by her body posture and body movement that she wanted to leave,” he said.
Haven said that not long after, Elliott and Wilson left in the cab, and he didn’t feel apprehensive about Wilson going with Elliott.
Approximately 30 minutes passed and Haven said he got a phone call from Elliott saying that he needed help taking care of Wilson because she was throwing up and disorientated. Haven reported Elliott sounding concerned for Wilson during the call.
“She didn’t really have control over her motor skills (and) couldn’t tell us where she was or what her address was,” Haven said about Wilson at Elliott's house.
While Solomon was helping Wilson Haven and Elliott were in the living room having a drink. Haven said Elliott told him he planned on letting Wilson stay in his bedroom while he slept on the couch. Haven said he and Solomon left about an hour and a half later. Haven said he felt comfortable leaving Wilson with Elliott.
The next day, he was contacted by Elliott, who was asking for Wilson’s phone number. Soon after, Haven spoke to Wilson and said “something seemed off.”
Wilson, who was cross examined and testified for more than two hours, was the last witness to give testimony. Afterward, Janes pronounced his ruling.
“The fact that she didn’t immediately report the incident to police or loved ones doesn’t mean that she wasn’t assaulted,” Janes said in response to the defense attorney, Joe Barberi’s comment about Wilson "being uncredible" in regards to how she reacted after the incident.
“The fact she went to her 8 a.m. class and to work after the incident doesn’t mean she wasn't assaulted. The fact that she waited to press charges and met with Elliott after the incident doesn’t mean she wasn’t assaulted.”
All three charges against Elliott have been bound over to Circuit Court. A trial date has yet to be scheduled.