Rape Allegations Follow Viral Photo of Public Sex at Ohio University

A viral photo of two people appearing to engage in a public sex act near the Ohio University campus in Athens has sparked rape allegation after the woman in the photo came forward to claim she had been sexually assaulted.

The photo, taken Saturday during the school's Homecoming celebrations, spread quickly across social media and was even tweeted by a number of prominent local accounts, including OU's nightlife blog Athens Tonight.

Rape Allegations Follow Viral Photo of Public Sex at Ohio University

All have since scrubbed the photo from their feeds, but many copies remain. Photos and videos taken by other onlookers have also emerged.

Athens Police told OU student paper The Post that an investigation had been launched after the woman in the photo filed a rape complaint.

OU officials would not comment on the incident and refused to confirm whether the individuals in the photo were OU students.

A source who spoke with Total Frat Move said the "male participant" was a fraternity member, but that claim remains unverified.

Another source told the site that the photo's subjects "posed for pictures with each other and with several bystanders after they were finished."

"We’re looking at every aspect and everything that could possibly be a factor," Athens Police Department Cpt. Ralph Harvey told the Athens Messenger. "Whether (alcohol) was a factor or not may or may not have a bearing on the investigation, so it’s not something we would focus on, especially initially."

The Post notes that OU policy considers consent unobtainable if the person is "asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated, whether due to alcohol, drugs or some other condition."

Sex of any kind with a person who has not consented subjects the perpetrator to immediate expulsion.

Update 10:46 a.m.: Gawker received an email this morning from a reliable source saying that footage of the alleged rape incident was forwarded this morning to Athens PD.

According to the source, "the video shows both parties actively participating, and they both acknowledge that they are being filmed and observed."

Rape Allegations Follow Viral Photo of Public Sex at Ohio University

Rape Allegations Follow Viral Photo of Public Sex at Ohio University

[screengrabs via BuzzFeed]