FAYETTEVILLE -- A former University of Arkansas, Fayetteville student charged in the rape of another UA student at a fraternity house will not be prosecuted, at least for now, Washington County chief deputy prosecutor Mieka Hatcher said Wednesday.
Dominic Taylor, 22, pleaded innocent in May to a felony rape charge related to an assault reported in 2016. He was booked into jail and released on a $10,000 bond.
A trial for Taylor was to begin Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court. Instead, Hatcher said Wednesday that she was filing paperwork to halt prosecution.
Hatcher said the state will retain for a year the right to refile the rape charge.
She declined to discuss specifics of the case. University police in 2016 said a student told authorities that she was raped at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house. Police said the suspect in the case was not associated with the fraternity.
The woman who reported the rape was 18 at the time and told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a written message Wednesday that she had planned to testify at the trial.
She said she had mixed emotions when she was told Nov. 9 of the prosecutor's decision, "but I have peace about it." She said she is looking forward to focusing on school.
"I'm glad I followed through with the process and was able to stay strong," she said, crediting her faith and support from others for helping her. "To me, I now have closure."
Taylor was expelled from the university in June 2016.* A police affidavit listed a Conway address for Taylor, who attended UA in the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016, a UA spokesman said.
Kent McLemore, listed in court documents as an attorney for Taylor, did not respond to a phone message and email seeking comment.
Hatcher said prosecutors have an ethical duty to not proceed to trial when a case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, noting the difference between charging a suspect with a crime and obtaining a conviction.
"You try to have as much information as you can when making a decision," Hatcher said, speaking generally and not about any particular case.
Metro on 11/16/2017
*CORRECTION: Dominic Taylor was expelled from the university. A previous version of this story misstated whether the school had taken disciplinary action.
Print Headline: UA rape charge dropped; Trial in assault case filed in 2016 called off