Miami student saw police lights while being raped and ran to officer with only one shoe on, police say

A trial date has been set for an Oxford man charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a 21-year-old Miami University student.

Brandon Levi Gilbert, 22, of the 100 block of Homestead Avenue, was indicted in October 2018 for rape, attempted rape, two counts of kidnapping and felonious assault for the incident that occurred Sept. 29 in Oxford.

Gilbert was arrested within minutes of the incident. He appeared for a pretrial hearing Wednesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court, where his trial was set for July 22 by Judge Greg Howard.

“Blood cur(d)ling screams” is how an Oxford police officer described what he heard just before seeing a Miami University student with only one shoe on run toward him early Saturday morning.

“She was shaking and trembling with fear. I noticed that she was covered in dead grass and leaves from head to toe and her waist belt was undone,” Officer Mark Ledermeier wrote in a police report obtained by this news outlet.

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Ledermeier said the woman could hardly talk because she was breathing so heavily “from adrenaline and crying.”

The student told Ledermeier that a man had thrown her to the ground and had punched her so many times in her right ear that she was having trouble hearing out of it.

While being attacked, the woman said she saw the lights from Ledermeier’s police cruiser, which was stopped nearby as he wrote a ticket for a vehicle registration violation.

“She stated that the male held her down on the ground and told her to ‘shut up,’ likely because he witnessed my overhead lights as well. She stated that she fought back and punched the male several times as well to get him off her,” according to the police report.

During her screams and struggle, the man assaulting her fled on foot, the woman told police.

She later identified Gilbert, who police stopped nearby on East Central Avenue, as her alleged attacker.

Gilbert works for Miami University in a “buildings and grounds” role, and has been suspended without pay until his case moves through the legal system, according to a university spokeswoman.

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