Interview with Alison Arocho, Ohio University lawsuit plaintiff

Alison Arocho is currently suing Ohio University, arguing OU is liable for repeated sexual abuse she suffered by one of its police officers from 2005 to 2006.

Read time: Less than 3 minutes

Alison Arocho is currently suing Ohio University, arguing OU is liable for repeated sexual abuse she suffered by one of its police officers, Robert A Parsons, from 2005 to 2006. She was 15 at the time. 

Parsons was previously pleaded no contest to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He served six months at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail. 


The trial over OU’s liability wrapped up on Nov. 21, with a decision expected from Judge Dale A. Crawford within 30 days of the trial.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: What was your experience like at the trial?

I was really anxious about Andy (Robert Andrew Parsons) testifying. I haven’t seen him in God knows how long. 

I was very surprised at some of the things that he said. He admitted to things that had never been admitted before, and I was slightly shocked at some of his responses. But then he lied, and they all lied, and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’

I’m glad it’s over. I really don’t know what the outcome is going to be.

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Q: What do you want the community to know?

Cops can get away with things because they’re cops.

Ohio University is so corrupt. Athens County cops of all sorts are so corrupt. [Police corruption is] happening all over the place, not just in Athens. But surprisingly enough, I have never been harassed in Marietta. In Athens, you’re harassed. That’s how they work there.

Q: Can you explain how Parsons’ affiliation with OU and the Ohio University Police Department helped enable the abuse you suffered?

He used his status to target girls, and obviously more than just one. 

At Ohio University, the corruption is deep… and they didn’t take all the right actions like they should have. They’re arguing that they had nothing to do with it, but yet, they had everything to do with it, and there’s documents to show (that).

Q: Why is it important to you that OU be held liable in this case?

Because I’m not alone. For me, personally, just them admitting that they were wrong, and they wronged me and many, many other girls would be enough. It honestly would. They need to take accountability — and I don’t know if they will.

If they went public with the fact that they f—ed up, then maybe in the future, somebody could be like, ‘now you need to pay attention to what’s happening now.’ 

Q: Can you share what your recovery has entailed?

Recovery was hard. I didn’t finish high school. I didn’t hold very many jobs as a teenager after I dropped out of high school. 

I was being bullied. It was crazy. It seemed like, at the time, most of Athens County deemed me a liar, because [Parsons] was just so well known: He was a cop, he was a coach, he was a dad. It made people judge me and call me a liar. That went on for years.

I ultimately ended up in horrible relationships. I was an alcoholic. I turned to drugs and sex and just didn’t want to live. I tried to commit suicide several times.

My recovery really still hasn’t ended. But in the last five years, I’ve done better than any. When COVID hit, I was allowed to do telehealth, and I think it got me better, because I’ve had a therapist and I’ve been seeing a doctor — it made it easier for me to stick with recovering. 

So it’s slowly getting better. But I’m not sure it’ll ever be gone. I don’t think I’ll ever be recovered.

Further reading: Ohio University on trial: Is OU liable for officer’s abuse of Alison Arocho?

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