Pictured is Simmons. Photo credit Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Lucy Waskiewicz | News Editor
A Dayton man has been convicted by a jury after he broke into a house in the south student neighborhood last spring and sexually assaulted a female student.
Marquece Allen Simmons Sr., 32, was found guilty of rape, aggravated burglary, and sexual battery in late August. As of this writing, he will be sentenced on Sept. 26 in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court and is currently being held in jail. A story update will be published on the Flyer News website after Simmons is sentenced.
At approximately 4:45 a.m. on April 15, 2023, Simmons broke into a student-leased house on the 1900 block of Trinity Avenue and sexually assaulted a female student who was sleeping on a couch.
According to a court affidavit obtained by the Dayton Daily News, Simmons then told the victim his name was “Dimitri” and walked into the kitchen before leaving through the front door. The victim made a report to Public Safety at 6:00 a.m., who released a safety advisory to students later that afternoon.
The victim’s roommates found footage of Simmons entering and exiting the house from a camera-equipped Ring doorbell. It showed Simmons leaving in a car parked nearby, which allowed the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to investigate and name him as a suspect.
The video was then reportedly shown to Simmons’ probation officer, who confirmed his identity. Authorities arrested Simmons on April 27.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. commended those who contributed to Simmons’ conviction.
“I am proud of the work by both my office and the University of Dayton Police officers in identifying and convicting this rapist,” he said. “I can only imagine the terror the victim experienced when awoken to a total stranger in her home, sexually assaulting her. Hopefully, he will be sentenced to a lengthy term of incarceration in prison, and he will be a registered sex offender.”
Simmons will be sentenced by Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Susan Solle, who has also served as a part-time adjunct professor at the University of Dayton School of Law since 2004. He faces up to approximately 27 years in prison and a lifetime on the Ohio sex offender registry.
Ohio law defines rape as any form of unwanted sexual conduct obtained without the victim’s consent and/or using force, threat of force, intimidation or coercion. Sexual battery refers to any sexual conduct to which any of multiple forms of coercion apply.
Sexual assault is notoriously high among female college students. A 2020 survey-based report published by the Association of American Colleges found that, among undergraduates, approximately 26% of women reported sexual assault by force, violence, or incapacitation. Many go unreported— a 2014 U.S. Department of Justice report found that only 20% of female student victims reported sexual assaults to authorities.
The University recorded 27 reports of sexual assault on campus in 2021. As of this writing, students have been notified of one reported sexual assault for the 2023-2024 school year, which allegedly took place in Caldwell Apartments on the morning of Sept. 10.
Multiple on-campus resources exist for students who have survived a sexual assault. Maureen Anderson, Executive Director for Equity Compliance and Title IX Coordinator, said the Equity Compliance Office (ECO) is a comprehensive first option for students to report a sexual assault and receive information and support for their next course of action.
“If a student reports an alleged sexual assault to our office, we will meet with them to discuss their rights and resources through the office,” Anderson said. “As a neutral but complainant-driven office, the ECO will discuss both formal (an investigation) and informal options available to the student.”
These options include parking and housing adjustments, academic notifications, and connections to partner offices for additional support, including the Health Center, the Brook Center, or the Counseling Center. All decisions are made by the impacted student.
Students who report a sexual assault to the ECO are also given amnesty, meaning they will not face consequences if their reported conduct includes drinking or doing drugs.
“You do not need to navigate this significant life event alone,” said Anderson. “If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, we strongly encourage you to report the incident. The ECO team will provide resources and support options to everyone who files a report with the office.”
Visit flyernews.com for further updates to the story.