DeKalb County's Prosecutor Wants NIU Police Investigated

Nov 6, 2012

DeKalb County’s State’s Attorney is calling for an investigation of Northern Illinois University’s police department. Clay Campbell has asked the State Police to look into the actions of NIU’s Police Chief Donald Grady and his department in regard to a sexual assault case involving an officer last year.

Credit NIU Public Safety

Friday, attorneys for former NIU police officer Andrew Rifkin asked DeKalb County Judge Robbin Stuckert to throw out sexual assault charges against him because NIU police had withheld information that could exonerate him. Rifkin is accused of raping a student in October 2011. But statements from two witnesses filed with the NIU police department a few days later charge that the victim and Rifkin were dating, and the victim, having grown jealous of Rifkin’s interactions with other female students, decided to accuse him of rape. Those statements were never turned over to prosecutors, and the State’s Attorney’s office went ahead with the felony sexual assault charges against Rifkin. Rifkin was fired from the university police force when the accusations were made: his dismissal was for fraternizing with students.

Stuckert is expected to decide this Friday whether the case against Rifkin should proceed. Campbell, who is up for reelection Tuesday, says he decided to ask for an investigation into the NIU police department after reviewing transcripts of last Friday’s court proceedings. Campbell faces fellow attorney Richard Schmack in the DeKalb County State’s Attorney race.

Northern Illinois University president John Peters is also calling for an investigation by Illinois State Police.