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Athletes film, brag about rape

The Associated Press

TIFFIN – Students at Heidelberg College say two freshmen athletes bragged about how they videotaped themselves raping a woman and showed it to other students.

Tuesday, November 16, 1999

TIFFIN – Students at Heidelberg College say two freshmen athletes bragged about how they videotaped themselves raping a woman and showed it to other students.

”They were proud of it,” said Sarah Smith, an 18-year-old freshman from Canton. ”I talked to someone who’s seen it. They asked them if they wanted to watch it.”

Police recovered the videotape, in which the naked woman seemed to be placed in different positions while unconscious, according to court documents.

”She doesn’t remember anything,” police Lt. Michelle Craig said Monday.

Nicholas Klingler, 19, of Circleville, a linebacker on the football team, and Nelson Pixler, 18, of Defiance, a wrestler, were charged Friday with three counts of rape and released on $60,000 bond each.

Calls seeking comment from Klingler at his parents home in Circleville went unanswered Tuesday. There was no listing for Pixler in Defiance.

The alleged attack occurred late Wednesday and early Thursday morning, police detective Ron Green said. The videotape was found in a police search later that day, he said.

The victim, an 18-year-old Bowling Green State University student, was visiting other friends on campus and didn’t know the two men, police said.

”It wasn’t date rape,” Craig said.

The woman told police that she had been drinking at a party and went into a friend’s room to sleep.

Police said they were investigating whether any others were involved or knew about the alleged rape, but would not discuss any other details.

Students who saw the videotape went to school officials, who called police. The victim told police that she did not consent to any sexual activity.

”This is a very tightly knit community,” said Heidelberg spokesman Jamie Abel. ”Everybody feels somewhat violated.”

Klingler and Pixler were expelled and are barred from campus unless escorted, Abel said.

Heidelberg officials said there is a heightened awareness among the university’s 1,700 students that they must be cautious no matter where they are. Heidelberg is a private liberal arts school in a largely rural part of Ohio 80 miles north of Columbus.

Students sitting in a courtyard outside the dormitory where the alleged attack took place were on edge even though the suspects had been arrested.

”The problem is that it’s people we know,” said Bethany Drawbridge, an 18-year-old freshman from Columbus. ”It’s people we hang out with.”

”I came here to be safe,” she said. ”It makes me wonder who you can trust.”