A student president from the Midlands was cleared yesterday of raping an undergraduate after a boozy freshers party.
Jonathan Hagan, aged 22, from Coventry, was found not guilty by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court after less than two hours of deliberation.
The former Nottingham University student was accused of attacking an 18-year-old student, who was just days into her course, after escorting her home from a party on October 2 last year.
Hagan, a maths graduate who was president of the girl’s hall of residence, was visibly relieved as Judge Tony Mitchell told him: "You are very well aware that your conduct that night left you with some very considerable doubts, morally if nothing else.
"You have a very bright future ahead of you and no doubt this is a lesson that will take a very long time to overcome."
The court heard during the trial that Hagan, as a student rep, had been asked to take the teenager home because she was too drunk to stay on.
She alleged he attacked her after they arrived at her room, claiming she only remembered him taking off her underwear before she passed out.
She said she awoke the next day to find Hagan’s mobile number and the slogan "I pulled the president" scrawled across her stomach in red ink.
Hagan denied the charge, telling the jury they had consensual sex and he had written the message on her at her request after she began kissing him during their taxi ride home.
He said he resisted her advances at first, but gave in after the girl "made it clear" what she wanted.
During the trial, lurid details about freshers week at the University of Nottingham emerged – including a "no-sex" contract, signed by student reps to protect vulnerable students during their first week on campus.
Hagan said he felt guilty for betraying the contract and knew he was "morally wrong" for having sex with the teenager because of his trusted position.
Judge Mitchell described the culture of drinking and partying as "an area of very real concern for the university – about the conduct and behaviour of the students".
A spokesman for the University of Nottingham later defended traditional Freshers’ Week events, saying the induction period was "not all about partying".
In a statement the spokesman said: "We wish to emphasise that Nottingham, in common with universities throughout the country, is taking a range of measures to address the welfare of newly-arrived students.
"Week One is not all about parties and nightclub events. A balanced programme is on offer and students can choose from countless specially-organised activities. At the University of Nottingham we recognise that University life is not purely about studying but we do want our students to enjoy their time here in a safe and responsible way."
The university added that they provided support to both Hagan and the young girl throughout the police investigation.
"Clearly this has been a period of great distress for everyone involved in the case. We will continue to provide assistance wherever it is needed," the statement said.