A University of Montana student and Tajik national has been arrested and charged with five counts of misdemeanor sexual assault in connection with an alleged campus rape that occurred in late August.
Fazliddin Sharipov, 27, appeared in Missoula Municipal Court on Friday morning. He pleaded not guilty and is represented by a public defender at this time.
Missoula Police Sgt. Jim Klawitter said the Tajikistan consulate has been notified of the arrest.
"Missoula police and the City Attorney's Office requested that Sharipov surrender his passport as part of any court-ordered conditions of release, and Sharipov has been ordered by the court to surrender his passport if he posts bond," Klawitter said.
According to initial reports, a female University of Montana student reported being raped by a male student in the early morning of Aug. 28.
The alleged assault was reported to police from UM's Curry Health Center on Aug. 28, after UM police found the woman on the sidewalk, UM Chief of Police Marty Ludemann said.
Ludemann said the officers spoke to her and took an initial report. They then referred the case to Missoula police.
City police detective Connie Brueckner investigated the incident and "worked closely with the Missoula County Attorney's Office and the Missoula City Attorney's Office, as well as the UM police and university Title 9 officials," Klawitter said.
Chief Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks said the case was not referred to the county attorney's office for any felony charges.
"My understanding is that it was determined that the elements for the sexual intercourse without consent were not met," Marks said.
Those elements include sexual intercourse and the lack of consent, which includes use of force, coercion or incapacitation.