NIU student pleads not guilty to assault charge

By Sara Adams

NIU student Steven McIntyre, 20, pleaded not guilty to a charge of criminal sexual abuse on Tuesday. Two other NIU students are facing similar charges but have yet to appear before a judge.

McIntyre was assigned a public defender, and a status hearing is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Jan. 12. He was charged with a Class A misdemeanor in October after an incident in Grant Towers.

The incident involved fellow student Silas Caldwell, who was charged with criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony. Caldwell is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 20.

Earlier in the same week of October, student Trevor Zumwalt was arrested on sexual assault and battery charges. He is being sent for a status hearing at 9:15 a.m. Dec. 15.

Criminal sexual assault is classified as an act of sexual penetration by force or threat. Sexual abuse occurs when sexual conduct, such as fondling or inappropriate touching, is committed under force or threat.

University Police reported five forcible sex offenses last year and 13 in 2002.