Champaign, IL – Two college students were arrested on Monday after they held the ex-boyfriend of one of them at knifepoint so they could delete information related to a crime from his computer.
Summer Naqvi, 21, and her roommate William Farrell, 23, were arrested and charged with aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint, WCIA reported.
The victim, who previously dated Naqvi, told police the pair attacked him at his home in the 400-block of East University.
He told police that Naqvi had asked to come over, but when she arrived she had Farrell with her and the roommate grabbed the victim and demanded he delete his Reddit account, according to The News-Gazette.
Farrell fought with the 23-year-old victim and then held him at knifepoint while Naqvi deleted things from his computer, WCIA reported.
At one point, the victim was able to take Farrell’s knife and toss it away from them as they struggled, but Naqvi retrieved the weapon and returned it to Farrell’s hand, The News-Gazette reported.
State's Attorney Julia Rietz said the victim reported Farrell had held the knife to his throat.
“In his apartment, she deleted files from his computer and cellphone while Farrell stood by him with the knife and made threatening statements to him," Rietz said.
The victim said the data that Naqvi deleted from his computer was related to charges of sexual harassment that the University of Illinois – Champaign student had made against an Economics professor, The News-Gazette reported.
"We don't know what files she deleted and why she deleted them," University of Illinois Police Spokesman Pat Wade told The News-Gazette. "She declined to talk to detectives."
Naqvi had Professor Joe Petry for an Economics class in late 2017 and then nine months later, they met on a social media apps and developed a relationship, according to The College Fix.
Petry said he didn’t know she had been a student of his until she showed up at his office in September of 2018 and wanted him to retroactively change her grade or promise to give her an A if she retook the class.
The professor refused and so Naqvi reported their interaction as sexual harassment to the university police.
There was an investigation and Petry was placed on administrative leave from the university on Feb. 4, The News-Gazette reported.
Dissatisfied with the way the investigation was being handled, Naqvi posted about the incident on Reddit on April 9, and then on her personal Facebook page on May 5, alleging that Petry had offered to change her grade in exchange for “sexual favors.”
Naqvi also claimed in her Facebook post that she had heard from many other women who had had the same experience with the professor.
"This allegation is not true, and I want to set the record straight," Petry said in a statement on Tuesday, according to The News-Gazette.
The professor admitted to consensual "communications of a social nature" online with the former student, but said he had no idea at the time that she had been his student and he did not violate any University of Illinois policies.
He said he has more than 1,000 students every semester and he didn’t recognize Naqvi, according to The News-Gazette.
Petry said Naqvi wanted him to send her pictures via Snapchat, and that she told him the photos would be deleted and it was “safe to use.”
The professor said Naqvi’s complaint alleged that she had been a "typical student inquiring about her grades, and that thereafter I began sending harassing photos to her without permission."
However, the professor denied that narrative, The News-Gazette reported.
Petry said that when he eventually met Naqvi in person after they began exchanging messages, she was "focused on convincing me to change her grade from the prior year, or to provide assurance that, if she retook my class, I would give her an A."
"I said I was not willing to do either of those things," the professor said.
Shortly thereafter, Naqvi filed the complaint against Petry with the university police, The News-Gazette reported.
University of Illinois Spokeswoman Robin Kaler said the school has been investigating Naqvi’s allegations.
Petry said the university had investigated every grade change he’d ever made and had not found anything untoward.
The "evidence does not support a violation of university policy," Petry told The News-Gazette.
Meanwhile, Naqvi and Farrell are facing up to as many as five years in prison on the charges from the knife incident with her ex-boyfriend.
Judge John Kennedy set bond for the pair at $25,000 each, but both remained in jail as of Tuesday afternoon, The News-Gazette reported.