University of California Student Regent Jesse Cheng was arrested for sexual battery last year on Nov. 4, according to the Irvine Police Department.UC Irvine’s student newspaper New University published a report of the allegations yesterday with an interview from the female UCLA graduate student who filed the charges. Speaking under the pseudonym “Laya,” the woman filed charges on Oct. 26, stating that Cheng allegedly tried to rape her in his off-campus apartment on Oct 3. Cheng, a fifth-year UCI Asian American studies major, was arrested nine days after the filing.
“Laya” told New University that she was initially hesitant to report the crime because Cheng had pressured her to remain quiet about the incident. Cheng is not currently facing any criminal charges.
The UC Office of the President said in a release that the case needs to be addressed through the proper channels.
“This is a student matter that is being handled by the campus in accord with standard processes covered by student privacy laws,” the statement said. “While there is no indication that any of this has anything to do with Jesse Cheng’s position as a Regent, this matter also is being reviewed by UC’s senior vice president-chief compliance and audit officer.”
Although previous reports claimed that the Orange County District Attorney’s office did not have record of the case, the district attorney’s Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder said previous misreports by media may have been due to a misspelling of Cheng’s name.
“We’re trying to track down the paperwork and have not been able to, but I can tell you the stuff that the UCI reporter wrote is a bit inaccurate,” Schroeder said. “The article made it sound like we rejected the case and it’s a bit misleading.”
As of press time, Schroeder was unable to confirm if the Orange County District Attorney. possessed records of Cheng’s case, but she said full details will soon be available.
Cheng was nominated by the UC special committee last June to serve as Student Regent for the 2010-11 term. Student Regents are chosen annually based on academic standing, school involvement and staff and faculty nominations.