Police Set Up Sting to Record Student Admitting to Sexual Assault

Part 2: After a second confession, Luke Smith was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault.
8:10 | 01/24/15

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Transcript for Police Set Up Sting to Record Student Admitting to Sexual Assault
Reporter: Southern Oregon university is known for its theater program, but no one could have written the drama that was about to unfold here in an off-campus apartment. Niki genthe's college boyfriend Luke smith admitted to raping her in his bed after she had taken sleeping pills. I even don't believe it sometimes, like how could he do that, you know, so, I'm sorry. It's crazy, I can't believe it happened. Reporter: The music major went to Angela Fleischer. Fleischer is behind a program that is bucking a trend in how colleges deal with campus sexual assault. Fleischer says it gives the survivors the control, and it appears to be working. The reports for the campus have doubled and I imagine will double yet again this year. Students are having the sense that they can trust the system. Reporter: A system Niki says she turned to when she no longer felt safe taking classes with Luke, who was still on campus. Fleischer brought Niki to Ashland police detective Carrie hull who knew there was one way that could prove what her ex-boyfriend had done. The police ask you to secretly record Luke, and you think what? They gave me two options. They said, "We could do this over the phone, we could do it in person. Knowing him as well as I did, I -- I had a feeling that he would be suspicious or would be unwilling to -- to talk about those sorts of things over the phone. I knew I had to do it in person. Sitting down when you're wired is hard. Reporter: Were you scared something could go wrong? A little bit. They coached me beforehand. You know, "What if this happens? What if this device goes off? What if he asks if you've gone to the cops? We went through all of it. Reporter: Detective hull says getting a confession on tape avoids the all-too-often "He said, she said" scenario. There's no such thing as a he said, she said. A he said, she said case is a poor investigation. Reporter: Two weeks later, and with Niki on board, detective hull arrives to set the trap. We came over and put the recording devices, multiple recording devices in the living area that she was the most comfortable with. Reporter: Niki invites Luke over to her apartment, telling him she needs closure and wants to talk things out. With the detective sitting in her car outside, Niki waits for Luke to arrive. Worried that I would fumble my words. Worried that I might just blurt out, "The police are outside!" Come in. The first thought I had as he walked through the door was, "Oh my gosh, don't mess this up!" Reporter: Only five minutes into the conversation Niki launches into her script, asking Luke to describe what happened the night of the attack. We were in bed together, and what happened after that, because I kind of -- You passed out. I wound up getting out the lotion that we had been using. The vanilla one? Yeah. I remember that. I rubbed your butt with it for a while. I remember pulling the sweatpants down. I remember that. Reporter: Once again Luke lays out the graphic details of how he sodomized Niki while she slept. I remember at first when you woke up being able to convince you it was just like you were having more night terrors. I just felt so sick being told exactly what he had done to my body against my will. Reporter: But this time it didn't end there. During this confession Luke revealed something even more horrific, he'd attempted to rape her a second time. When I tried again -- Twice? That was a huge shock to me. Because I had only thought that he had raped me once. But, when I fell back to sleep, he raped me again. Which is brutal. After, you really woke up. I got freaked out and I was ashamed and also -- Afraid of being caught. Yeah, I was afraid. Reporter: During that conversation that was secretly recorded, we can hear Luke apologizing to you. With every fiber I have, I am sorry. Reporter: What do you make of that? It's so cruel in a way to hear him say, "I'm sorry," puts this burden on me to forgive someone for something unforgivable. Reporter: You get all of this information. And you see him walk out the door. Is there a sense of -- a part of you that says, "That's the confession. I got it." No. No. It was just sad. Just sad for this person who has caused me so much pain and has, in that moment, it felt like he had ruined his life in a way. Reporter: Police have what they need, and bring Luke down to the Ashland police department, where detective hull is waiting for him. Do you know the person who would have come forward to me? I do. And who would that be? Niki genthe. He knew -- he knew what was going on -- very quickly. Reporter: What was his demeanor like? He never tried to act like he didn't do it, which I will say is very rare. This was not a typical interview with somebody that's accused of one of these crimes. I sort of lied to her about what was happening to sort of cover my own self and also because I didn't really want to believe that I had really done anything like that to another person. Sorry. Reporter: Police arrested Luke that day. You're under arrest for several things. Sodomy one. Reporter: Charging him with three counts of sexual assault. Charges that, in the state of Oregon, had him facing serious time in prison. He would've been looking at 25 years. You know, that was additionally something we talked to Niki about in the beginning because she felt very strongly that, you know, this was somebody that she still cared about. Reporter: Once again, it was Niki's call. Reporter: What did you want to see happen to him? I met the D.A., and he asked me what I was thinking. And I looked him right in the eyes and I said, "I don't want to ruin his life, even though he's ruined mine in a way." I decided to request that he not be put in prison. Reporter: Instead he pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual abuse, got three years probation and had to register as a sex offender. He was also expelled from southern Oregon university. Reporter: Was that justice for you? To be empowered, yes. What's most important is that I got to do what I felt, at the time, was the best thing in my heart of hearts for myself and also for him. Reporter: But there was an all-too-familiar backlash. After Luke's arrest and expulsion, Niki says some members of the music program, her friends and classmates, wanted nothing to do with her. It was really disheartening and frustrating, because Luke had made a confession. However, no one wanted to admit that it happened. No one wants to admit rape happens. Especially when it's someone that you have known and trusted. Reporter: We reached out to Luke through his probation officer, but he did not respond. For Niki, this chapter is now closed. She's moving forward and getting back to what brought her to this university in the first place. What do you think music has given you through all of this experience? Music has given me my life back. Because I have been through so much pain. And Luke has taken so much away from me, and music has given it back. Music helping her. If you've been the victim of sexual assault, go to our web page. We have resources to help you. And join the conversation on Facebook and #abc2020.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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