Jury deliberations in Ari Goldstein trial continue

Friday’s proceedings began with closing arguments after witness testimony ended Thursday.

Ari Goldstein walks out of the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice at 13th and Filbert streets on Feb. 14. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Deliberations in the trial of Ari Goldstein, the former president of Temple’s chapter of AEPi who is accused of sexually assaulting a Temple student and an alumna, will continue Tuesday after the jury did not reach a verdict today. 

Friday’s proceedings began with closing arguments from both the state and defense after witness testimony ended Thursday. Deliberations lasted approximately two hours.

In his closing argument, Perry de Marco Sr., one of Goldstein’s two attorneys, asked jurors how alcohol might have affected both Goldstein and the survivors’ experiences.

De Marco also questioned why the survivors did not take opportunities to leave the bedroom and waited months to report Goldstein to the authorities.

“Common sense prevails,” de Marco said. “If somebody bit my nipple, man I wouldn’t forget that, I’d whack the daylights out of him.”

Assistant District Attorney Zachary Wynkoop said the survivors’ testimonies provided enough for the jury to find Goldstein guilty.

“What they went through and what they testified in that chair is enough,” Wynkoop said.

Wynkoop said that while the defense’s witnesses know Goldstein for his good reputation in Bucks County, his behavior as a fraternity president in North Philadelphia was different.

“Things change when he’s not under the watchful eye of his sister,” said Wynkoop.

On Wednesday, the two survivors testified that, in separate incidents, Goldstein was physically aggressive with them and attempted to force them to perform oral sex on him in the AEPi fraternity house on Broad Street near Norris in 2017 and 2018.

In the first incident in November 2017, Goldstein allegedly invited the survivor into a bedroom inside the fraternity house and began to have sex with her. At first, it was consensual, she testified, before Goldstein allegedly became physically aggressive and she asked him to stop.

Goldstein complied but then allegedly asked the survivor to perform oral sex on him, which she initially agreed to but later told him to stop, she testified. Goldstein would not, she said. The survivor was able to push herself off Goldstein and escape the room. Goldstein allegedly texted her an apology the next day, explaining he had blacked out and would “never intentionally do anything to hurt you.”

In the second incident in February 2018, Goldstein allegedly invited the other survivor to a bedroom inside the fraternity house to smoke marijuana. He allegedly pushed her onto a couch and restrained her, kissing her and digging his knee into her thigh while laughing and shushing her. 

Goldstein then allegedly pushed the survivor’s upper body onto him and pressed her head toward his crotch, thrusting his hips toward her face. The survivor was able to push Goldstein off of her and run out of the room, she testified. She saw a bruise on her thigh where Goldstein had pressed his knee the next day, she said.

On Thursday, friends of the survivors and a Philadelphia Police detective testified on behalf of the state, including a former roommate of one of the survivors. Three people who know Goldstein well testified for the defense, The Temple News reported.

Temple suspended AEPi from campus in April 2018 while Philadelphia Police investigated the fraternity for multiple reports of sexual assault, The Temple News reported. Goldstein was initially arrested on sexual assault-related charges in May 2018 and arrested again in August 2018 after the second survivor came forward. 

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