WCU Student Facing Multiple Charges

Former WCU student Alan Jeremy Tyson, 20, was arrested Feb. 25 on two counts of assault on a female and one count of second-degree rape in connection with incidences that occurred in Leatherwood residence hall.

Tyson was released from jail after posting a $3,000 cash bond and $7,000 unsecured bond. He is scheduled to appear in Jackson County District Court March 5.

On Feb. 24, a WCU female student reported that Tyson sexually assaulted her in Leatherwood on April 3, 2001.

Three separate warrants were secured for Tyson’s arrest. The warrant drawn from this incident states that Tyson “unlawfully and willfully did assault and strike” the victim ” by placing her hand on his penis and masturbating with it.”

Another WCU female student reported on Jan. 22 that Tyson sexually assaulted her on Jan. 21, also in Leatherwood.

The warrant pertaining to this incident states that Tyson “unlawfully and willingly did assault and strike” the victim “by simulating sex by placing his penis between her thighs and against her vagina.”

A search warrant was secured for Tyson’s room on the fourth floor and a search was conducted. Evidence of the assault was confiscated, along with knives and alcohol.

Tyson admitted non-consensual sexual contact with the victim.

Both incidences were sexual in nature, but did not involve vaginal penetration, said Gene McAbee, director of Public Safety.

In the first week of December 2001, a female WCU student reported that Tyson sexually assaulted her in Leatherwood on November 18, 2001. This incident is drawing second-degree rape charges.

The warrant drawn from this incident states that Tyson “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did ravish and carnally know” the victim “by force and against the victim’s will.”

All three incidences were acquaintance type situations, all occurred in Leatherwood, but alcohol was involved only with the incident in November, according to McAbee.

One victim came forward in November 2001, then one in January and one in February.

“The first report encouraged the others to come forward,” said McAbee.

Jackson County Assistant District Attorney Monica Leslie reviewed the cases.

According to McAbee, she selected the charges as being appropriate to the acts alleged in each incident.

Preliminary crime statistics for 2001 show that four forcible sex crimes were reported. Three allegedly occurred in residence halls and one off-campus.

Three have been reported in the first two months of this semester alone.

“If I were to guess, we’re not having more than we already had, but we are having more reported,” said McAbee.

“The men I’ve talked to don’t seem to understand the seriousness of their actions,” McAbee added.