Grand jury indicts man accused of campus assault, stalking at Southern Adventist University

Claude Abran Finch / Hamilton County Sheriff's Office photo

A Collegedale man charged with stalking one student and sexually assaulting another on the campus of Southern Adventist University in November has been indicted.

Claude Abran Finch III, 24, was indicted by the Hamilton County Criminal Court grand jury on May 18 with one count each of sexual battery, evading arrest and reckless endangerment.

Finch was arrested on Nov. 17 after allegedly fleeing from Collegedale police, according to an arrest report.

Two days before his arrest, he allegedly stalked a student as she headed to class, according to a police affidavit.

A young woman told police she had seen a man in a red Chevy hatchback repeatedly changing from one parking space to another for several hours in the parking lot near her campus housing.

A few hours later as she was heading to class, she found her car blocked in by the same hatchback, she told police. She remained in her car and the hatchback eventually left and she was able to drive away.

The man in the hatchback then allegedly followed her through campus. She called campus security and was told to pull over at another parking lot to wait for help. The man in the hatchback then pulled up next to her, according to the affidavit.

The woman told police "she was scared for her life," the affidavit said.

The man drove away before campus security reached the student.

The following day, Nov. 16, a student who was jogging through campus was allegedly sexually assaulted by a man, according to another affidavit.

"I was running around campus on Southern Adventist University and the Southern Village apartments, and I noticed a red Chevy hatchback several times during the run," the victim told police officers.

According to an affidavit, when the student slowed down for a break from her run, the man attacked her.

"He grabbed me from behind and touched my crotch," the victim said. "I hit him and yelled so he pushed me into the road. Then I ran back to the dorms."

Officers began searching for the red Chevy hatchback the evening of Nov. 16, according to the affidavit.

Officers spotted a car matching the description and pulled over the driver, whom they identified as Finch.

Finch told officers that he had been delivering food for Door Dash on campus, but when he was asked to exit the vehicle, he fled the scene, according to the affidavit.

The next day, Nov. 17, Finch was arrested by Collegedale police without incident.

Finch's criminal record includes an August 2021 aggravated domestic assault charge, according to Hamilton County Criminal Court records. He has been held at Silverdale Detention Center since his arrest.

According to Tennessee law, sexual battery is a Class B felony, which means if Finch is convicted he faces between eight and 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. He would also have to register as a sex offender.

Finch is due to appear before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz on May 27, for a pre-trial hearing.

Following the incidents on campus, Southern Adventist University urged students to stay safe by not walking alone, educating themselves on the resources available to them and staying alert.

Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter @LaShawnPagan.