Philly Police investigate several reports of sexual assault at Temple’s AEPi chapter

21-year-old, engineering student Ari Goldstein, the former president of Temple's Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter, was arrested and charged with attempted rape, indecent assault, among other charges. | JAMIE COTTRELL / FILE PHOTO

UPDATE at 1:21 p.m. on April 22

The Feminist Alliance released a statement about Temple and Philadelphia Police’s investigation into Alpha Epsilon Pi.

The organization took a similar stance as the Student Activists Against Sexual Assault, which criticized the university’s response to the allegations of sexual assault.

“The email from the university in response was highly inappropriate, and found the tone to be “victim blaming,” the Alliance’s statement reads. “Moving forward, we expect the administration to address situations of assault more consciously and we hope students acknowledge the situation for what it is.”

The organization encouraged students to reach out to Temple’s Title IX Coordinator Andrea Seiss and utilize resources from Woman Organized Against Rape.

UPDATE at 6:44 p.m.

The Student Activists Against Sexual Assault released a statement about the university’s campus-wide email announcing sexual assault allegations against Alpha Epsilon Pi. The student organization stated the email had a “victim blaming tone.”

The organization stated that the allegations against the fraternity are “issues of sexual violence” and that Temple’s email was not an “appropriate response.”

“While we appreciate Temple reaching out to the community, the victim blaming tone in this email was not the correct way to address the situation,” the statement read.

The organization encouraged students to report similar incidents to Andrea Seiss, the university’s Title IX coordinator, and to utilize Temple’s anonymous sexual misconduct reporting website.

Captain Mark Burgmann of the Philadelphia Police Department said the Special Victims Unit is investigating the sexual assault of two 19-year-old women, who are both Temple students, by members of Temple’s chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at a press conference on Friday.

The Temple News first reported an ongoing university investigation of the fraternity on March 30. Philadelphia Police began investigating the fraternity on Tuesday, and one of the cases has been referred to the District Attorney’s office.

Both alleged assaults occurred in the fraternity’s house on Broad Street near Norris. One occurred in February and the other in March.

Burgmann said he cannot confirm how many members of the fraternity are being investigated and what drugs were used during the alleged assaults.

In one case, the survivor detailed that she was given several drinks by a member of the fraternity and felt dizzy. She said the next thing she remembers is waking up in bed with one of the brothers and believes she was sexually assaulted.

Jonathan Pierce, the fraternity’s spokesperson, confirmed that the national headquarters suspended all activities of Temple’s chapter three weeks ago in a statement to The Temple News on Friday.

“The University has asked us not to conduct our own investigation and, to date, we have received no other official notice from the University,” the statement read. “We are, obviously, very concerned about these allegations as they have no place in Alpha Epsilon Pi.”

Temple Police is investigating “multiple credible reports” of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, drug and excessive alcohol use that were reported at Alpha Epsilon Pi.  

The fraternity has now been suspended from Main Campus because of pending investigation from Temple Police and the Philadelphia Police Department.

Temple Police released a statement to the Temple community on Friday about its investigation with Philadelphia Police into the fraternity, which has a home on Broad Street near Norris.

Survivors of sexual assault and students with any information are encouraged to contact Temple Police at 215-204-1234 or by email at police@temple.edu, the Dean of Students Office at 215-204-7188 or dos@temple.edu, the Wellness Resource Center at 215-204-8436 or by email at tuheart@temple.edu or on the university’s anonymous reporting system.

REPORT SEXUAL MISCONDUCTTemple and Philadelphia Police could not immediately be reached for comment.

Alpha Epsilon Pi’s national headquarters could also not immediately be reached for comment, but told The Temple News last month at the beginning of its investigation that if the allegations, “they are deplorable” and the national organization will take action against them.

TEMPLE POLICE'S TIPS FOR SAFE DRINKING

This story is developing and will be updated. Check back at The Temple News for regular updates.

Kelly Brennan
can be reached at kelly.brennan@temple.edu Or you can follow Kelly on Twitter @_kellybrennan Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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