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Former NIU cop re-indicted for alleged rape

Former Northern Illinois University police officer Andrew Rifkin has been re-indicted for allegedly raping a student in 2011—an unusual legal move that comes only months after prosecutors dropped the same charge against Rifkin.

The initial criminal sexual assault charge filed against the 25-year-old former officer was dropped last November shortly after a DeKalb County judge ruled NIU police had intentionally withheld evidence favoring Rifkin.

The decision by then-State’s Attorney Clay Campbell to dismiss the charge prompted Rifkin to file a lawsuit contending the university and his one-time boss, NIU Police Chief Donald Grady, mishandled the case.

NIU officials quickly suspended Grady and then earlier this week fired the long-time chief, who was praised as a hero for his actions during the 2008 mass shooting that killed five students in campus lecture hall.

The new indictment was released Friday by DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack, who defeated Campbell last November to claim the prosecutor’s office.

In a statement, Schmack noted Campbell dismissed the original sexual assault charge without consulting the alleged victim.

“It will always be the policy of my office to consult with victims of violent crime before any dispositions are reached, especially one so drastic as a dismissal,” Schmack said in the statement.

A spokeswoman declined to comment further, but Rifkin’s attorney questioned why the same charge was re-filed.

“My client is devastated and is shocked they did this again,” said Rifkin attorney Bruce Brandwein. “I don’t understand it either.”

Rifkin, who was dismissed from his police job after initially being charged, will be able to post his $7,500 cash bail, Brandwein said.

If convicted, Rifkin faces a four- to 15-year prison term.

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