HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University has expelled a student who faces four new sexual assault charges.
The university released a statement Wednesday saying its decision on Joseph Chase Hardin was final.
Hardin, 22, was originally charged in 2016 with sexually assaulting a fellow student. He eventually entered a Kennedy plea on a misdemeanor battery charge and was placed on three years probation. Hardin was allowed to remain in school. He was indicted last week for allegedly sexually assaulting two other women off campus last fall. He faces a total of four new charges.
“We have taken, and will continue to take, aggressive steps to make sure the entire Marshall community is safe,” Marshall President Jerome Gilbert said in a statement. “I have zero tolerance for inappropriate, illegal behavior, and pledge that we will always treat sexual misconduct and violence with the utmost gravity. The safety of our students is our first obligation.
Hardin was expelled Tuesday under Marshall’s Student Conduct Disciplinary Procedures.
He was back in court Wednesday for a hearing on a motion from prosecutors to have his probation revoked. He waived the hearing. The old case will now go back before Cabell County Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson for sentencing. Hardin will be arraigned on the new charges in the near future.
A friend of the Marshall student who was assaulted in 2016 attended Wednesday’s hearing. She said the young woman had to leave Marshall after Hardin remained in school.
“She is like the strongest woman that I know, but still, when you go through something like this it is very traumatic,” Madison Summers told WSAZ-TV. “She had to move. Marshall was her dream school. We did everything together. I lost out on four years with her.”
No future court hearing dates have been set.