Former Hope athlete jailed for sexual assault

Becky Vargo • Jun 19, 2017 at 7:00 PM

UPDATE Tuesday at noon:

Hope College officials confirmed today that Chase Edgar was expelled from the school following the college’s own investigation into the incident. The determination was that Edgar violated college policy, said spokesperson Jennifer Fellinger.


A 21-year-old Hope College student charged with sexually assaulting a female student while she was unconscious will spend the next 120 days in jail.

Chase Morgan Edgar, of Indiana, Pennsylvania, was ordered Monday to serve 150 days in jail, but was given credit for 29 days he already served. He was also put on probation for five years when sentenced by Judge Karen Miedema in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

During probation, Edgar is not allowed to have contact with the 19-year-old victim, drink or do drugs. He must also register as a sex offender.

Ottawa County prosecutors charged Edgar with third-degree criminal sexual contact with an incapacitated victim, related to an incident that occurred in his Hope College dorm room on Oct. 5, 2016.

The former Hope lacrosse player (listed on the college’s 2015-16 roster) pleaded no contest on May 22 to a reduced charge of attempted prostitution/pandering. 

In her statement, the teen victim said she agreed to the change so that the case would not have to go to trial.

“With the end of the court process, I feel like I can move on now,” she said after the hearing. “I don’t have to keep it fresh all the time.”

The victim stood in front of Miedema to talk about her struggles since the incident.

“The experience of being woken up from a completely unconscious state by the pain ... by Chase Edgar will never leave me,” she said. “I will always carry with me the memory of feeling so much shame and disgusted with myself and my own body that I wanted to die, and had a plan to do it.”

The teen said she admitted herself to a local hospital for help and that counseling, the support of her family and Hope College officials is helping make it easier to deal with life. Stopping the case from going to trial was a big step in the healing process, she said.

“Chase received a sentence with a much lower jail time than he deserved for his crime due to the plea deal we agreed to, because I decided my own healing and well-being would come with being able to move on, rather than drag this case out to trial,” she said. “The jail time he is serving is significant nonetheless, but will never make up for what he did to me and what I experienced as a result of his actions.”

The victim said she had been to a party on the day of the incident. She was not in a relationship with Edgar. At some point, she awoke to the assault and fled to her dorm room.

The teen said there is a program at Hope College about sexual assault that is required for freshmen.

“I just never thought it was something that would happen to me,” she said.

The teen said she wanted victims of sexual attack to understand the situation is not their fault and that they should get help.

“I asked for help,” she said. “It’s worth getting help.”

Prior to being sentenced, Edgar apologized “to everyone involved.” He told the judge that he takes full responsibility for his actions and is working to better himself. 

Miedema said that she exceeded guidelines on the sentence.

“The reality is, what happened, it fits the original crime,” the judge said.

Help available:

The Center for Women in Transition has offices in Holland and Grand Haven. All services are free of charge. They have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners service where rape exams can be done at the CWIT location without the need to call law-enforcement. The 24-hour help line is 800-848-5991. Here is more on that service: https://cwitmi.org/request-help/sexual-assault/

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