Student sexually assaulted shares story to encourage others not to be scared into silence

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - A former Miami University student remains in prison after sexually assaulting a woman and capturing it on video. The woman is now sharing her story in an effort to encourage other women to speak out.

Maria Racadio doesn't call herself a victim - she is now an advocate for women's safety and health after a terrifying encounter with former student Nicholas Cristescu back in October.

"I vaguely remember seeing him at a bar. I was there to see one of my sorority sisters sing," said Racadio.

The next morning she says she woke up in his apartment undressed feeling disoriented and confused.

"I was texting my friends immediately. I said 'I don't know where I am. I'm so scared,'" she said. 

As she was leaving, she says Cristescu asked her to stay but she went home.

She says she was afraid to go to police at first because she wasn't sure what happened. However, another student with a similar strange encounter with Cristescu, months before, built up the courage to file a police report.

When police went to his home they seized his cell phone finding dozens of images of nude girls including pictures and a video of Racadio. Police were finally able to show her what happened that night.

"They showed  a couple of pictures of me unconscious and they said' is this you.' They showed me a couple more. I was still unconscious my clothes were off and they showed me a video of him raping me while I was unconscious," said Racadio.

In February, Cristescu was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to gross sexual imposition. It's third degree felony which states that "a controlled substance was given to prevent resistance by the accuser". Other charges of rape and sexual battery were dismissed to avoid going to trial.

Ricadio says she is forever grateful to the woman who decided to come forward.

"If she hadn't gotten the courage to go to police I would have never known what happened to me and not only that he could have done it to so many more girls and just the thought of that terrifies me," she said. 

She wanted to share her story with FOX19 NOW to encourage others not to be scared into silence.

"I just want people to know how important it is if something feels off. If something's not right. If you've been sexually assaulted you need to tell someone," Ricadio said. 

She has started a non-profit called Kick Back Bath Company. The proceeds help fund self-defense classes for women.

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