Grand jury to review case of date rape

By Kimberly Miller

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The case of a 19-year-old UA student formally charged with sexual assault in January was remanded back to the grand jury yesterday.

Peter Michael James, an undeclared sophomore, was indicted by a grand jury Jan. 13 for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old student Nov. 5. The rape allegedly occurred at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house, 1550 N. Vine Ave., where James is a member.

In a hearing that took less than 10 minutes, Stanton Bloom, James' attorney, won a motion from Superior Court Judge Deborah Bernini to have the grand jury rehear James' case.

Bloom made the motion because he said he believes a review of the evidence in the case will influence the grand jury to repeal the indictment. He said details that would show that James and the victim had consensual sex were left out of the grand jury hearing.

"There are simply things that the grand jury did not hear that would show this was consensual sex," Bloom said. "This was not a case of rape at all. Everything that happened was consensual."

In a written statement to the court, Pima County Prosecutor Kathleen Mayer, states that she agreed that details in the case may have been misinterpreted by the grand jury but that nothing was

deliberately left out or changed in the police's testimony.

Mayer could not be reached for comment.

Bloom said he believes the Pima County Attorney's Office is feeling pressure to prosecute University of Arizona sexual assaults and is using this case as an example.

"I think there has been a lot of pressure from the Wildcat and UAPD to prosecute date rape cases," Bloom said. "But if they're trying to make an example out of this case they're hurting the cause more than helping it."

Bloom said it is now up to the attorney's office to set another grand jury trial date.

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