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Sullivan could face more questions on alleged attempted rape

Update, May 2017: In response to the Victim’s Right to Review (VRR) request that this story refers to, the original decision not to prosecute and take no further action was upheld. As of June 2015 the case has been closed.

Ben Sullivan, who was arrested on suspicion of rape on May 7th of last year, but later released, could be questioned by police again after one of the students who originally accused him reportedly requested a Victims’ Right to Review.

Originally arrested with an accusation of rape and a further accusation of attempted rape, the then President of the Oxford Union was released without charge on bail. Six weeks later, the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take no further action in relation to the accusations of rape and attempted rape.

However, according to the CPS, one of the students, who claimed that Sullivan tried to rape her after they met in a nightclub, has lodged a Victims’ Right to Review, claiming that the original investigation was flawed.

A former member of the investigating team said to the Mirror, “The view of many of those working on the case at the time was that it was not thoroughly investigated. Some officers already had fixed opinions before we had the full facts.”

If the request for the review were to be granted, new and existing evidence would be scrutinised to establish if errors were made.

If any were found, the Crown Prosecution Service could order the Thames Valley Police to reopen the criminal case.

A CPS spokesman told Cherwell, “A request has been made through the CPS Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) scheme for a review of the no further action decision in this case.

“The VRR scheme gives victims the right to request a review of a CPS decision not to prosecute or to terminate criminal proceedings.”

The Crown Prosecution Service’s official guidelines for Victim Right to Review Scheme state that requests for reviews will only be considered for up to three months from the communication of the qualifying decision, and that any delay beyond this period will only be permitted “in exceptional circumstances taking into account the facts of the individual case”.

Ben Sullivan was not available for comment.

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