Local News

Man charged with rape on UNC campus

Posted October 21, 2011 12:21 p.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2011 6:53 p.m. EDT

— A Chapel Hill man has been charged with raping a woman last week on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, police said Friday.

Jade E. Rofot, 29, was charged Oct. 14 with two counts each of second-degree rape, second-degree sexual offense and sexual battery. He remains in the Orange County jail under a $2.5 million bond.

Durham officers arrested Rofot at his workplace on Fayetteville Road, police said.

The charges stem from one incident with one victim that is alleged to have occurred on Oct. 13, police said.

Investigators haven't specified the location of the alleged assault or said whether the woman knew her assailant.

Rofot is serving a year on supervised probation for August convictions in Durham County on charges of assault on a female and false imprisonment, according to state Department of Correction records.

He was initially charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery in the Durham case, but the charges were reduced in a plea agreement, court records show.

DOC spokeswoman Pamela Walker said Rofot had been complying with the terms of his supervision and last met with probation officer on Oct. 2.

UNC Assistant Dean of Students Melinda Manning said she is proud of the woman for having the courage to go to police.

"This particular survivor is a young student, and I think it's incredible that she was able to come forward and go to the police and file a full police report, which ultimately led to this individual's arrest," Manning said.

The number of sex assaults reported at UNC has nearly tripled in the past year, and officials attributed that to educational efforts on campus and the "blind reporting" that the UNC Department of Public Safety now offers.

In a "blind reporting" case, a victim gives information to investigators so it's on record, but the case doesn't go to a criminal prosecution. Manning said, some victims feel more comfortable reporting incidents if they know they don't have to go through an investigation and trial.

"It's gotten so that students who have survived a sexual assault are starting to feel more and more comfortable coming forward," she said.