Cornell wrestler arrested Tuesday on first-degree rape charges

April 3, 2013

Cornell senior Pete Mesko, a member of the Big Red wrestling squad, has been arrested and arraigned in Ithaca City Court on a charge of first degree rape. The Ithaca Police Department says Mesko was arrested Tuesday following an investigation into an early-morning incident Saturday.

Cornell wrestler Peter Mesko, charged with rape. Photo from Cornell Athletics.Cornell wrestler Peter Mesko, charged with rape. Photo from Cornell Athletics.Ithaca Police senior investigator Michael Gray says IPD received a complaint from a woman who said a man she didn't know entered her bedroom near the Cornell campus and "engaged in sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge or consent." The woman told police she was "soundly sleeping" at the time.

IPD officers, working with Cornell University Police Department officers, arrested Mesko without incident at his Thurston Avenue residence, near Cornell's north campus. Inv. Gray declined to answer our questions about how Mesko was identified as the suspected assailant.

Rape in the first degree, a Class B felony, is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion or when the person is incapable of consent. A conviction could carry a sentence of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.

Mesko was remanded to Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail bond. He is due in Ithaca City Court on Friday. The incident comes exactly a year after another Cornell wrestler, Warner Phipps, was arrested after allegedly breaking into a woman's apartment and threatening her with a gun, and just a week after Cornell Wrestling was in the news when senior Kyle Dake made history with his fourth consecutive national championship in four different weight classes.


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