Riley Hayes Is Charged But Not Convicted. He Is Allowed To Attend School In Florida Amid Serious Questions About Serious Charge. So Why Is He The Subject Of A Hate Campaign?
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Florida Atlantic University student Riley Hayes is accused of Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault in Jackson, New Hampshire. The charge, filed in October of 2020, stems from an alleged incident where Hayes is accused of “engaging in sexual penetration with another when the victim was physically helpless to resist,” according to a charging document.
Hayes was in high school at the time.
The charge is serious. But so are questions raised by Hayes’ attorneys — and outlined in documents obtained by BocaNewsNow.com. Among them, questions about the conduct of the accuser. Claims that she and her friends deleted material from their phones and social media accounts after making the accusation. And questions concerning the actions of the school resource officer at the high school, attended by Hayes and the alleged victim, after the assault report was made to a guidance counselor.
New Hampshire Judicial Branch provided several documents to BocaNewsNow.com early Friday. They are published, in their entirety, below.
Carroll County (New Hampshire) Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius permitted Hayes, 18, to leave New Hampshire to attend school at Florida Atlantic University, as the case continues.
But at FAU, victim advocates learned of Hayes’ enrollment, decided Judge Ignatius was wrong, and demanded the school ban him from on-campus housing. FAU complied, and ordered Hayes to move out of a residence hall on FAU property in the spring. At the time, FAU spokeswoman Lisa Metcalf told the Conway (New Hampshire) “Sun,” “We take any accusation of sexual assault seriously and pursue all appropriate measures to ensure that the rights of those involved are protected and the campus remains one of the safest in the nation.”
Hayes was told “to vacate his dormitory and seek housing off-campus,” the following day, according to the paper.
The school told BocaNewsNow.com it would have an updated comment next week.
Moving off campus, apparently, isn’t enough. BocaNewsNow.com received a strongly worded email Thursday night from a woman who suggested she is launching a media campaign to defame Riley Hayes. She included a letter sent by “concerned FAU organizations” to the school. From that letter:
“While we understand the school must wait for the judicial system to handle this matter, we would hope that the most diverse university in Florida will take any and all precautions to protect their students from predators like this. FAU NOW and other student organizations (listed below) account for over 1,000 students at FAU. We understand that Hayes has been kicked off of campus and there was enough sufficient evidence for charges to be filed and for FAU Housing to remove him from campus. While we understand the schools hands are tied to a certain extent, we hope FAU takes this opportunity to establish our campus as a safe place. We would like to know what the school plans to do to reassure students that their safety is being looked after. Will the school release any statements condoning this behavior? Will consent training be implanted for all students? Will FAU High parents be notified that this person will be on campus?”
The letter was sent to BocaNewsNow.com by Neesha Arter Kuratek who lives in California and called Hayes an “indicted rapist” in her email to us. She has nothing to do with FAU. She told us she wrote for the New York Times. We asked for samples. She sent one: “How Model Andreaja Pejic Spends Her Sundays: Yoga and a Pig Out Brunch.” She also sent a link to her book on Amazon.com, “Controlled, The Worst Night Of My Life And Its Aftermath.”
“I don’t have a connection to FAU,” wrote Kuratek to BocaNewsNow.com. “I went to college in California and lived in New York City where I worked as a journalist. I have a friend whose child is a freshman. She told me stories of rape and alcohol use and as an activist, I find it imperative to use my voice to expose institutions who are covering it up and not protecting their students.”
Kuratek, who referred to herself as both an “activist” and “a journalist,” is a marketing copywriter for Kenra Hair Care in Los Angeles, according to LinkedIn.
Attorneys for Ryan Hayes told BocaNewsNow.com that activist “baiting” is nothing new to this case.
“Riley has pled not guilty because he is not guilty,” wrote Attorneys Robin Melone and Leslie Gill. “The Court is aware of Riley’s location and he remains actively engaged with his attorneys. Despite aggressive and repeated baiting by members of the public, we will not be trying this case in the inherently unbalanced court of public opinion. Riley is very much looking forward to trial.”
A hearing in the case is set for next week. A trial is set for early 2022. Florida Atlantic University, according to several people familiar with the situation, has no grounds to remove Riley from classes. He is legally permitted by New Hampshire to be in Florida, he is accused of no wrongdoing in Palm Beach County. A charge is an accusation, its validity is determined in court.
BocaNewsNow.com efforts to provide documents for our readers to be fully informed. Court document from this case are below. If they do not appear, access the files here.HayesIndictment
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