A rally in Pennsylvania on Sunday will support former Cornell student and wrestler Peter Mesko ’13, who in 2015 was sentenced to five years in prison for drunkenly sexually abusing a woman, according to a Facebook group entitled “Justice for Pete’s Sake.”
The rally’s organizers aim to “bring awareness to our corrupt legal system and undeniable presence of prosecutorial misconduct” and to “speak for the wrongfully accused and convicted when they cannot speak for themselves,” according to Facebook page. As of Saturday, the page has received over 80 likes.
Mesko was found guilty of first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree burglary on Jan. 29, 2015, according to The Voice. He was also charged with rape, but the jury was deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict on this charge.
On the morning of March 30, 2013, Mesko was accused of raping a female student in her girlfriend’s bedroom while she was asleep, The Sun previously reported. The victim’s girlfriend — who was in the room with her — helped to fend off the attack before the two fled to an upstairs bedroom.
The victim’s girlfriend returned downstairs to take pictures of the assailant, who was lying on her bed with his jeans “slightly pulled down,” The Sun previously reported. They later identified Mesko as the attacker using the Cornell athletics department website.
Mesko’s attorneys argued that Mesko was too drunk the night of the crime to have formed the “requisite intent to be found guilty rape,” The Voice reported.
Forensic scientists testified in court that “minute levels of male DNA was found on the back area of the victim’s bra and underwear, but not at significant enough levels to determine if it belonged to Mesko,” according to The Ithaca Journal.
Jeff Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for after being falsely accused of murdering and raping a classmate prior to being exonerated by DNA testing in 2006, plans to speak at the rally, according to the Facebook page.
The rally will take place from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Wayne County Courthouse in Honesdale, Pennsylvania — Mesko’s hometown.