Man faces stalking charge after alleged sexual assault on Southern Adventist University campus in Collegedale

Claude Abran Finch / Hamilton County Sheriff's Office photo
photo Claude Abran Finch / Hamilton County Sheriff's Office photo

A man has been charged with stalking a female student on the campus of Southern Adventist University after he was arrested there last month following another student's accusation that she had been sexually assaulted, according to a news release from the Collegedale Police Department.

Claude Finch III was arrested by Collegedale Police on Nov. 17 following an alleged sexual assault that occurred on campus after he evaded officers by allegedly speeding through a populated student housing area the day before.

During an investigation, officers learned that a second female victim had reported two other encounters with a man she believed to be stalking her, but her reports had been given to the campus safety department and had not been forwarded to the police department until after the sexual assault took place.

That victim, also a Southern Adventist student, told police that she had not only experienced a harassing encounter with a man the day prior, but also earlier the same evening of the sexual assault. She said she was driving through campus trying to get away from the man, who had allegedly been following her in his own vehicle. She also said she was "scared for her life" and called the university's campus safety department for help, the release states.

The victim said campus safety told her to park her car and lock her doors and wait for officers to arrive. After doing as she was instructed, she said the man allegedly parked his car right next to hers. The victim then backed out of her parking space and kept driving. Finch then sped away when a campus safety vehicle arrived in the area, according to the release.

Finch has since been charged with stalking, a class A misdemeanor. He was booked into the Hamilton County Jail without bond on Wednesday.

- Compiled by Kim Sebring