College student charged with felony sexual assault

MIDDLEBURY — Twenty-two-year-old Middlebury College senior Dong Song on Monday pleaded innocent in Addison County Superior Court to a sexual assault charge stemming from an encounter with a female Middlebury student on campus early Sunday morning.
Song, a citizen of the Republic of Korea, faces a jail sentence of three years to life and a fine of up to $25,000 if convicted.
His attorney, Peter Langrock of Langrock, Sperry & Wool in Middlebury, said Song contests the allegations.
“We believe further investigation will show that this is all a misunderstanding between college students,” Langrock told the Independent on behalf of his client.
An affidavit prepared by Det. Kristine Bowdish of the Middlebury Police Department details the encounter between Song and a 19-year-old female, also a Middlebury College student, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday, May 12.
According to Song’s and the unidentified alleged victim’s accounts, the pair met while dancing at a party earlier that night and went to Song’s room in Forest Hall. Both accounts state that the pair engaged in some consensual sexual activity and the woman verbally expressed at least once that she did not wish to engage in intercourse, and that at one point Song covered her mouth with his hand. According to the affidavit, Song told police that the woman was making noises he interpreted as enjoyment, and that he had covered her mouth because he was afraid his hall mate in the adjoining room would be disturbed.
The woman alleges that Song partially penetrated her as she struggled to get away, according to the affidavit. Song’s account to police differs, alleging that the woman’s movements and behavior, including kissing him and removing her clothing, led him to believe that she had changed her mind about having intercourse and that he twice attempted penetration. He denied some details of her account.
Song told police the room was dark; both subjects said they had consumed alcohol.
After the encounter, the woman called a friend in considerable distress. Three other Middlebury College students brought the alleged victim to the home of a Middlebury College staff member who mentors groups of students on campus.
The staff member escorted the alleged victim to Porter Hospital, where a rape kit was administered. The alleged victim identified Song on Facebook after her friends searched for him using a mobile phone.
Song, a senior economics major slated to graduate at the end of May, is next scheduled to appear in court on June 24. Langrock said his client’s nationality has “no bearing” on his ability to make it to his scheduled court appearances.

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