A judge has dropped a rape case against a University of Southern California student after viewing video footage of the two involved students from the night of the alleged incident. The judge determined there was not enough evidence to try the case after viewing the video evidence.
A 19-year-old female USC student claimed 20-year-old Armaan Premjee raped her in her campus dorm on April 1. In May, Premjee was charged with rape by use of drugs and sexual penetration with a foreign object. The alleged victim told police she did not remember the encounter and had several drinks over the course of the night. Premjee met the woman at Banditos Tacos & Tequila near the USC campus earlier that night.
Security footage from outside the club showed Premjee and the female student waiting for an Uber on the sidewalk. The camera then captures the female student making a hand gesture behind Premjee's back to a friend, indicating sexual activity. According to Harland Braun, Premjee's defense attorney, it was evidence of consent. Premjee met the woman for the first time that night, and maintains that the two had consensual sex.
The judge agreed, and found the video evidence to suggest that the woman was the initiator of sexual activity. California is an "active consent" state, meaning university students must receive active consent before all sexual activity. However, USC's bylaws state that an intoxicated person is not capable of giving valid or affirmative consent. The female student's roommate walked into the room during her roommate and Premjee's encounter and confronted him, prompting him to leave. The alleged assault was reported to the university's Department of Public Safety the next morning.
Despite the dismissal of the court case, if Premjee is found responsible by the university, under the bylaws he may be expelled. A student misconduct investigation of Premjee remains active, even though the university has not publicly commented on its outcome at this time.
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