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Peter Mesko arrest: Cornell wrestler arrested for rape 'after sleeping woman awoke to find him on top of her and her friend took photos to identify him
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- Peter Mesko, 22, of Honesdale, Pa., was charged on Tuesday with first-degree rape
- Alleged victim's friend took photos of the accused with his pants around his ankles to identify him after the attack on Saturday morning
- Mesko is a junior in the school of agriculture and last year he took third place in a New York State intercollegiate wrestling tournament
- The alleged victim is also a student at the Ivy League college
By Helen Pow and Associated Press
PUBLISHED: 14:35 EST, 4 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:41 EST, 4 April 2013
Accused: The women, who haven't been named, managed to fight Peter Mesko, 22, pictured, of Honesdale, Pa., off and run away after the alleged rape on Saturday morning
A Cornell University wrestler has been charged with rape after a female student caught him having sex with her friend while she slept and took pictures of him with his pants around his ankles to show police.
The two women, who haven't been named, managed to fight Peter Mesko, 22, of Honesdale, Pa., off and run away after the Saturday morning incident.
But the alleged victim's friend went back after the attack to take photos of the accused, which the two used to look him up on the Ivy League school's athletic department website, police said.
Mesko was charged on Tuesday with first-degree rape. He was freed on $5,000 bail for a court appearance tomorrow.
According to the Ithaca Journal, court papers said the two women had gone out to a Collegetown tavern with friends at around 11 p.m. on Friday night then fell asleep at the friend's house at around 1 a.m.
The alleged victim told police she had had two beers, a shot of tequila and a whiskey and Coke.
The friend was woken up around 1:30 a.m. by her housemates who had invited friends over to play drinking games. When she asked them to quieten down, she noticed some Cornell wrestlers were among the party guests.
The alleged victim said she woke up at 4:45 a.m. to find a stranger raping her, and her cries awoke her friend.
'I woke up confused and uncomfortable and said, "I don't like that, stop!"' she recalled, according to the Journal.
The two women managed to shove Mesko off and run from the room, police said. While they were fighting the athlete, the friend recognized him as one of the wrestlers from the party.
Charged: Mesko, pictured, was charged on Tuesday with first-degree rape. He was freed on $5,000 bail for a court appearance tomorrow
The female students locked themselves in an upstairs room but a few minutes later, the friend crept downstairs to take pictures of the man she recognized.
'I quickly took two pictures of him, he said aloud "no" when he recognized that I had taken them,' the woman recalled.
She ran back upstairs before Mesko allegedly followed and attempted to kick the door down.
'He tried to push the door twice and was twisting the door knob,' the alleged victim recalled. 'I said "it's occupied" and then we heard his footsteps go away from the door.'
About half an hour later they dashed from the building and noticed Mesko still at the house, asleep on a futon.
Scene: Kent Hubbell, the Dean of Students at Cornell, pictured, said the arrest has 'shocked' the university community
The alleged victim went to an emergency room to have a rape exam done, then contacted police.
According to the Cornell website, Mesko is a junior in the school of agriculture. Last year, the wrestler took third place in a New York State intercollegiate tournament.
Police said they did not know if he had a lawyer. His phone number was unlisted, and a call to his parents' home on Thursday went unanswered.
Police Officer Jamie Williamson said the assault took place off campus. He declined to say whether the alleged victim was a Cornell student. University officials had no comment.
'The arrest this week of a Cornell student charged with raping a fellow student has shocked our community,' Cornell Dean of Students Kent Hubbell said in a statement posted on the university website.
He said a new website has been set up to provide support for victims of sexual violence as well as those troubled by the reported rape.