Over a year after a teenage girl reported a brutal rape at a central Minnesota high school, authorities have charged a suspect in the crime.
Robert Shannon Epps Jr, 19, is accused of raping the victim at knifepoint in December of 2019, while she was at a basketball game at St. Cloud's Apollo High School.
According to the criminal complaint, when the victim — who was 15 years old at the time of the attack — went to the restroom, "someone else entered the bathroom... and shook her stall door as if they were trying to get in."
When the girl attempted to exit the stall, the defendant "pushed her up against the stall wall and placed his hand on her throat." He then pulled out a pocketknife, held it against her stomach and threatened to "cut her if she did not have sex with him."
He proceeded to rape her, the charges say, and told the victim afterwards that "I bet you won't do what you did again" before leaving the scene.
The complaint says the victim believes he was "referencing her not wanting to date him"; she also told investigators that the suspect "had been harassing towards her and followed her around at school" before the rape.
The two had apparently been classmates at some point. At the time of the incident, Epps had recently turned 18.
According to court documents, the victim first reported the crime "during an intake interview in a therapeutic setting"; investigators have been working with her since February 2020.
Epps is charged with 1st-degree criminal sex conduct, which means that if convicted, he's facing 30 years in prison as well as $40,000 in fines.