UCA students react to on-campus rape arrest
CONWAY (KATV) —
A University of Central Arkansas student accused of rape pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday following an alleged encounter that took place on campus.
Michael Zeher, 18, bonded out on Friday, the same day he was arrested for rape. According to the affidavit KATV obtained, he allegedly told police he knew a head nod from the victim wasn't sufficient consent.
It was sometime before 1:30 a.m. on Friday when Zeher and another student left together from a frat party on Western Avenue. They were headed to Bear Hall, where they both lived, because the victim was intoxicated and not feeling well, a friend told UCA Police.
Shortly after, the victim's friend told police she received a message from Zeher’s roommate saying the victim and Zeher were having sexual intercourse.
Zeher was later taken into police custody for rape and read his Miranda Rights. Following this, he allegedly admitted to having sexual intercourse while she was "incoherent" at times during the encounter. When police asked why he did it, if he knew it was wrong, he reportedly said he had "liked her for a long time and that he had feelings for her."
Police asked Zeher if he thought a head nod was sufficient consent. He supposedly said no.
On Tuesday, students KATV spoke with said they were shocked and reminding themselves to always be aware.
“Have at least a couple of friends beside you, especially if you’re drunk like that. You want to have someone that’s sober so you’re not clueless to what’s going on, because being drunk is a dangerous situation anyways, especially being around a guy,” said UCA Junior, Anna Logan Aycock.
“I always carry my mace around me. If it’s late at night, I always have a few friends on my contact list and I’ll call them or text them, 'Hey, will you go with me? Will you come meet up with me and walk out to my car?' because anything can happen,” said UCA Sophomore, Brittini Fisher.
KATV spoke with Zeher’s attorney, Brad Williams, who released this statement:
There is a lot of disinformation out there. My client is looking forward to presenting his side in court.
No word on the suspect's next court date.
UCA officials told Channel 7 News they couldn’t comment on this matter.