A Missouri college student has been charged with raping a woman hours after she attended a #MeToo rally.
Zachary Alperin, 22, a student at Missouri State University, was charged Wednesday with second degree rape and second degree sodomy, according to the Springfield News-Leader. He was held in lieu of $20,000 bond, but has since been released, according to jail records.
“I guess I tried to force myself on her, and I feel like such a terrible person for it,” Alperin allegedly told police after his arrest, the newspaper reported.
The 22-year-old victim, also a MSU student, met Alperin Saturday evening after attending a rally against sexual violence, according to a probable cause statement filed by prosecutors, the Springfield News-Leader reports.
The two spent the night drinking at various bars before going to the victim’s campus dorm room. While she allowed Alperin to stay the night in her room, she told him not to touch her because she was drunk, the statement says.
But in the middle of the night, she told police, she woke up to Alperin naked and on top of her, performing sex acts. She pushed him away and reported the attack.
Alperin faces up to seven years in prison.
The #MeToo rally Alperin’s alleged victim attended was organized by Me Too Springfield. One of its leaders, Jordan Harris, told the News-Leader that the rally had been planned long before Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual abuse.
“We want to show Springfield you are not alone in this,” Harris said.
After news of Alperin’s arrest broke Wednesday, Me Too Springfield posted on its Facebook page, “We are devastated. The thought that someone would leave our rally feeling so encouraged, just to be raped a few hours later …. It is almost too much.”
“If the woman who attended our rally that the article is referring to sees this, please know this: we are so proud of you for your bravery in coming forward. We are so sorry. We believe you. This was not your fault in any way. We are here for you," it concluded.
[Photo: Greene County Jail]