Trigger warning: This article contains information regarding sexual abuse.
An OU student has been accused of child sexual abuse in Delaware County.
Darwin Huddleston, who is still a student enrolled at OU according to the university’s enrollment office, faces felony charges of first-degree rape by instrumentation and lewd exhibition in Jay, Oklahoma, according to Grand Lake News. Huddleston allegedly sexually abused a family member over the course of five to six years, starting when she was about 9 years old, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
According to the affidavit, the victim’s father confronted Huddleston, who allegedly “confessed everything” and also reportedly confessed his transgressions to other family members. The victim’s father stated that Huddleston “wasn’t apologetic for his actions” and attempted to justify them by stating “it was because he was overweight and could never get a girlfriend.”
According to the affidavit, one of Huddleston’s family members disclosed to her mother that Huddleston had been sexually abusing her over the past five to six years, and the mother then reported it to Delaware County detective Mike Bouziden. Huddleston was allegedly close with the family, and would “often have unsupervised contact” with the victim.
OU spokesperson Kesha Keith, in an emailed statement, said the university could not comment on a specific student’s case but spoke more broadly about how the university handles instances such as this.
“It is the protocol of the Office of Student Conduct to enforce a code violation. Any violation of a law is a code violation,” Keith said. “There is no guarantee or obligation for outside agencies to report a crime committed by an OU student to the University. However if notified, the University can receive that information through multiple sources ... The code and University policy afford the ability to assess individual circumstances before, during and pending a court case outcome. This assessment allows administration flexibility to impose interim measures, including but not limited to, temporary suspensions, trespass orders and/or no contact orders.”
Keith also said the university often waits until the end of a trial to determine how to proceed, but all cases involving student behavior that may pose a risk to the OU community are reviewed by the university’s Threat Assessment Review Committee. The committee reviews all information submitted by law enforcement and reviews the evidence to make a decision.
“Response to the risk largely depends on whether sufficient factual evidence exists to support immediate actions such as suspension or expulsion,” Keith said. “If individuals are not a safety threat, no action is taken until the completion of their court proceeding. Once a court case is complete, University administration determines next steps.”
When asked by law enforcement to come in for questioning, Huddleston stated he knew the reason they were calling and that he would seek the advice of his legal counsel, attorney Mark Bailey, according to the affidavit. Huddleston and his attorney were both asked for comment via email but did not respond by the time of publication.
“Darwin was (the victim’s) cousin and a close family member whom the (victim’s family) often trusted and relied on to watch (the victim) and be responsible for her in their absence,” Bouziden stated in the affidavit. “Over the years, Darwin preyed on that trust and engaged in child sexual abuse...”
According to Grand Lake News, Huddleston’s trial began Oct. 1, and he remains free on $110,000 bail.