Trial continued for fourth time in Miami University rape case

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

Brandon Levi Gilbert, 22, who lived in Oxford at the time of the incident, is charged with rape, attempted rape, two counts of kidnapping and felonious assault for the incident that allegedly occurred Sept. 29, 2018, in Oxford. His trial was scheduled to begin on Jan. 13, 2020, but the defense requested a continuance, the fourth in the case, due to an issue with the availability of an expert witness.

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The continuance was granted by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Howard, and the trial was rescheduled for March 30.

Gilbert is free on bond and has been ordered by the judge to remain on a GPS monitoring system, report to his pre-trial services officer weekly in Hamilton and be excluded from Oxford and Miami University.

An Oxford police officer described hearing “blood cur(d)ling screams” just before seeing a Miami University student wearing only one shoe run toward him early on the morning of Sept. 29.

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“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.

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, whom police stopped nearby on East Central Avenue, as her alleged attacker.

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