Temple’s AEPi former president charged with attempted rape

The Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter was suspended in April after at least two women came forward with allegations of sexual assault against members of the fraternity.

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

Ari Goldstein, the former president of the Temple’s Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity was charged with attempted rape, indecent assault, among other charges on Wednesday.

Philadelphia Police arrested the 21-year-old engineering student on sexual assault charges, simple assault, unlawful restraint, witness intimidation, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and false imprisonment for an alleged assault in late February.

University officials suspended the AEPi fraternity in April, pending a sexual assault investigation.

Perry De Marco, Goldstein’s defense attorney, detailed the late-February alleged assault to The Temple News, in which a woman allegedly went to Goldstein’s third-floor bedroom in the fraternity house where he kneeled on her leg and tried kiss her, fondle her breasts and attempted to force her to perform oral sex on him.  

Goldstein allegedly became forceful and and told the woman to “shush” as she cried inside of his locked room. After Goldstein attempted to force the woman to perform sex acts, she was able to kick him and run out of the house, according to the affidavit of probable cause obtained by the Inquirer.

“This is interesting because I would like to know how a ‘quote unquote’ victim ends up alone on a third-floor room with my client,” De Marco added. “I don’t know. Let’s find out at the preliminary hearing.”

REPORT SEXUAL MISCONDUCTGoldstein, who posted 10 percent of his $2 million bail on Thursday, faces several first degree felony charges. Forcible attempted rape and attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercouse are first degree felony charges and hold a maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison, according to state law.

De Marco also heavily criticized the District Attorney’s bail amount and the timing of Goldstein’s arrest, which happened at a Boston airport on Sunday when he was leaving for a trip to Israel, de Marco said.

Goldstein’s attorney claimed that the District Attorney’s office knew that his client would be leaving the country, but waited to arrest him at the airport to claim he was a flight risk and set a high bail amount.

“That’s not bail, that’s punishment,” he said. “That’s conviction before trial.”

He added that this is “critical because it speaks to the unprofessional manner in which this investigation was conducted.”

“The police and [District Attorney] created what appeared to be a flight risk,” DeMarco said. “They must have known that he was leaving. It’s bullsh*t.”

“We asked for high bail due to the seriousness of the crime,” wrote Ben Waxman, the spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office in an email. He later wrote that the office has no further comment on De Marco’s allegations.

De Marco noted Goldstein’s clean reputation, with no prior criminal history. He added that he plans to call several male and female students to testify on Goldstein’s behalf.

“My warning is mothers: don’t send your boys to college,” De Marco added. “You’re asking for trouble.”

Jonathan Pierce, the media spokesman for the fraternity’s headquarters, wrote in a statement that Goldstein was removed as the chapter’s president “several weeks ago.”

The headquarters had no additional information about the charges against Goldstein, but will continue to cooperate with Temple and local authorities.

“We are, obviously, deeply troubled by the charges leveled at this young man,” Pierce wrote in a statement. “We believe in due process but there is clearly no place for this behavior in our organization and, if proven true, I would expect him to be permanently expelled from our fraternity.”

This arrest comes after a Philadelphia Police investigation into the fraternity, which began in April.

Philadelphia Police first launched their investigation on April 17 after at least two 19-year-old women alleged they were sexually assaulted by members of the fraternity. The university began investigating the fraternity on March 30.

Captain Mark Burgmann of the Philadelphia Police Department said at a press conference on April 20 that both assaults allegedly took place at the fraternity house on Broad Street near Norris.

Brandon Lausch, a university spokesperson, wrote in an email to The Temple News that the university will “continue to contribute to the ongoing investigation.”

A preliminary hearing for the alleged assault will be held on May 31, according to court documents.

This story is developing, check back for updates and the latest information.

UPDATE: Court documents detailing charges against Ari Goldstein incorrectly stated he was arrested for statutory sexual assault of a minor eight to 11 years younger, a spokesperson from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office told Philadelphia magazine. He was instead charged with attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.  This story has also been updated to reflect new information from Alpha Epsilon Pi’s headquarters. 

 

2 Comments

  1. When I went to Temple University from 2001-2004, I went to the AEPi house several times. There was never a problem there. The worst thing that happened there was a lot of the frat boys smoked weed, however they stopped smoking it because I could not stand the smell, so they either went to another room or waited until I left to pull their bongs out. I was in a few of the guys bedrooms to work on projects for classes, and not once was I sexually harassed. It saddens me to read this and see what has happened.

Leave a Reply to Michelle Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.


*