Powell suspended from dormitories

Michael Powell, the Northern Kentucky University student charged with rape Feb. 24, has been denied permission to live on campus by the Dean of Students’ office.

Powell received a letter from the Dean of Students’ office that put him on an interim suspension from university housing. This came after a Campbell County District Court judge said Powell could remain living on campus.

Powell filed a civil suit against the university to obtain a restraining order allowing him to live on campus. A Campbell County Circuit Court judge denied the motion.

Burr Travis, Powell’s attorney, said he is disappointed with the decision because Powell would like to take part in on-campus activities.

Currently, Powell is only allowed on campus to attend class, other than the one he had with his accuser, and to use the library.

Powell must now have a disciplinary hearing with Dean of Students Kent Kelso to determine whether he represents a “safety factor for himself or for others… or that his mere presence would be in some way disruptive to the educational process,” Kelso said.

“If his information was compelling enough… and if we made the decision that Michael is not a safety factor, then he would be allowed back into housing,” Kelso said.

Powell will have a second hearing, Kelso said, to “determine whether he is responsible for sexual assault.

“If he is found responsible, his enrollment is in question and he could be suspended from the university.”

Powell has the option of having the hearing before or after the court decision.

Kelso said most students choose to have disciplinary hearing after the court decision because anything said in the hearing can be subpoenaed in court.

Powell’s criminal case goes to a grand jury April 7. Travis said Powell is going to speak to the grand jury without the benefit of an attorney. Travis said his clients typically do not do this, but Powell’s case is unique.

“I think when they hear his side of the story they won’t indict him,” Travis said.