By Mia Albaugh
A Youngstown State University student was arrested Sept. 13 on charges of groping a female student.
Bryce Clay Hickman, 19, of Cincinnati, was arrested by YSU police on charges of disorderly conduct, gross sexual imposition, criminal damaging and burglary.
“It’s probably been a while where we’ve had somebody breaking into a room trying to commit a serious crime,” YSU police Chief Shawn Varso said.
Reports said police were called at 11:12 p.m. Sept. 11 to the University Courtyard Apartments for a disruptive male refusing to leave.
A female student at the University Courtyard Apartments, located on campus at 91 Wick Oval Street, accused Hickman of keeping her in a room against her will and groping her, according to police reports.
Hickman’s preliminary hearing was set for 10 a.m. Nov. 1 at his virtual arraignment Sept. 15.
At the preliminary hearing, the prosecution will call witnesses and introduce evidence, and the defense can cross examine witnesses. If the judge believes there is probable cause to think the crime was committed by the defendant, a trial will be scheduled.
Reports initially stated that Hickman was arrested on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and criminal damaging. After police reviewed statements by witnesses and residents, prosecutors decided more charges were warranted. Felony charges of burglary and gross sexual imposition were added.
Varso said Hickman arrived for his court appearance, was arrested on the two felony charges and taken to Mahoning County Jail.
Reports said his bail was set at $5,000, which he posted, and he was released. He is currently back in Cincinnati with family.
Varso said Hickman has been suspended from YSU.
Hickman has no prior criminal record.
Varso said he recommends students keep the YSU police department phone number saved in their phones.
“Call us immediately as soon as this happens. Our officers are trained and can come down there, find out what the situation is, especially if it is something severe of this nature,” he said.
Sometimes students do not want to involve police in crimes regarding sexual misconduct and Title IX violations. To speak with someone about reporting a Title IX violation, visit the Title IX Office in Tod Hall, suite 31, or call the office at 330-941-4629 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Immediate methods of contacting someone regarding Title IX can be found on the YSU website under the Title IX page.
Under the YSU Title IX sexual harassment policy, sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking is strictly prohibited by this policy. Retaliation against those who report sexual harassment or participate in the process outlined in this policy is prohibited.
YSU also provides mental health resources through its Student Counseling Services office. According to the YSU website, the YSU Student Counseling Services has an after-hours phone line. Students can speak with a mental health professional who can assist with immediate support, crisis intervention and stabilization.
The number for the YSU Student Counseling Services is 330-941-3737. After the message press “1” to be connected to a mental health professional. It is available to all YSU students or anyone concerned about a YSU student.