Two UNK students charged in sexual assault

Two UNK students charged in sexual assault (KHGI)

Two University of Nebraska at Kearney students face charges after a sexual assault at a residence hall.

It happened early Sunday morning, according to UNK spokesperson Todd Gottula.

He said a female student was assaulted by two men. UNK notified campus through email on Monday afternoon around 5 p.m. of a report of possible sexual assault occurring at a residence hall on campus.

Gottula said, on Wednesday afternoon, UNK sent another email notifying two subjects had been arrested.

"On Monday we notified campus through email that there was a possible sexual assault that occurred in a residence hall on campus. We followed up with another email Wednesday afternoon to campus notifying them that two subjects had been arrested," said Todd Gottula, a spokesman for the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Zachary Reikofski, 18, and Prestin Melroy, 19, are both charged with first-degree sexual assault, according to court records.

If convicted, they each face up to 50 years in prison.

Both were being held on $25,000 cash bond. According to court records, Melroy has bonded out of jail.

Gottula said Melroy was dismissed from UNK’s wrestling team on Wednesday due to breaking team rules.

"One of the individuals was a member of the UNK wrestling team. He has since then been dismissed from the team due to breaking team rules," said Gottula.

He said the two men were acquaintances of the alleged victim. UNK's student code of conduct board will review the case and decide the student’s future at the school.

"We have a student conduct board. A code of conduct board that will review the case and make a determination later on their status as students," said Gottula.

Gottula said resources and services are available on campus for sexual assault victims and UNK encourages students to use those.

Many students on the UNK campus said they still feel safe but were shocked to hear the news.

"It is just concerning just knowing that it happened here on campus and with everyone living here, it's kind of scary," said Mackenzie Hamilton, a junior at UNK.

"It's definitely unfortunate to hear that occurred on campus. Personally speaking, I would say that our campus is pretty safe and secure. We do have things put in place not only for victims but for others students to help them stay safe," said Jennifer Garcia, who is also a junior at UNK.

Reikofski and Melroy are scheduled for court on Dec. 11.

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