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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Trial Date Scheduled In Sexual Assault Case Against Former NIU Police Officer

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Former Northern Illinois University police officer Andrew Rifkin was charged with sexually assaulting a female freshman student at NIU in 2011.

Following his arrest, Rifkin was interviewed by two university police officers for about two and a half hours. That interview was recorded.

Rifkin's attorney, Bruce Brandwein, says a large portion of the recorded interview was not recovered. He also says there are missing text messages between Rifkin and the victim from days following the incident.

“We have seen a pattern by the NIU police, either to – as you may want to describe it – didn’t preserve," Brandwein said. "I would describe it as they hid evidence; evidence was destroyed.”

Brandwein says he wants to bar any NIU officers involved in the incident from testifying.

The trial is scheduled for the week of Dec. 12 to accommodate the class schedule of a potential witness now in graduate school in California.

An NIU spokesperson says the school does not comment on pending litigation.

  • WNIJ's Jessie Schlacks and Jenna Dooley contributed to this report.
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