James Patrick Withouse, Missouri State University sophomore business major, was charged with first and second-degree sodomy, second-degree rape and second-degree sexual abuse on March 6.

The alleged rape occurred in the early hours of Feb. 28, according to a March 5 Springfield Police Department probable cause statement. After a night out with friends, a female MSU student invited Withouse to her dorm to watch a movie. 

The report said Withouse made multiple sexual advances toward the student over the course of his time in her room, which she refused. She left her room to go to the bathroom and after coming back Withouse allegedly forced himself on her. After the alleged assault, the female student confided in a friend and her residence hall’s assistant hall director. 

According to the report, one of the female student’s friends drove her to Mercy Hospital for a sexual assault examination. Withouse and the female student communicated through Snapchat almost daily since the fall 2020 semester before the assault. The report said she hadn't spoken with Withouse since the assault until March 5, when she voluntarily called him on a line monitored by investigators. 

Investigators requested an arrest warrant be issued for Withouse because he and the female student live on MSU’s campus. The report said Withouse sent the female student text messages after the monitored call, and after she asked him not to contact her. 

According to the Greene County case report, Withouse’s bond was requested to be set at $100,000. 

Suzanne Shaw, vice president of marketing and communications at MSU, said the university doesn't comment on ongoing Springfield Police Department investigations. 

Below are safety tips for preventing sexual assault from Shaw:


  • Be active in supporting a safe and respectful community. If you see others engaging in disrespectful or inappropriate actions, speak up and get involved, or contact someone else to assist.  

  • Let someone else know who your date is, where you are going, when you expect to be home and any other important details. 

  • Trust your instincts and don’t ignore signs of trouble. If you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, leave quickly, ask for help if there is someone nearby or call 911. 

  • Decide ahead of time how you will get home and with whom. 

  • Stay with the crowd. 

  • Watch out for your friends and have them watch out for you. 

  • Keep track of your drink — whether alcoholic or not. 

  • Communicate clearly — verbally and with body language.


Follow Afton Harper on Twitter, @affie888

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Afton Harper has been a copy editor and reporter for The Standard since spring 2018. She also snaps pictures in her free time.