University Police and the Philadelphia Police Sex Crimes Unit are investigating a report of an attempted rape at the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house, University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich said yesterday. Kuprevich said the victim, a student at another university, visited campus earlier this semester. When the victim returned to her school, she reported the attempted rape to her school's police. The department contacted University Police about the alleged incident last week. Kuprevich said the victim has filed a criminal complaint and is cooperating in the investigation. The commissioner would not release the names of any suspects in the case. Kuprevich said police believe there was one assailant in the alleged incident. He declined to release any specific findings of the investigation until its completion, saying only that a preliminary report has been finished and police are currently performing a follow-up investigation. Kuprevich said he did not know when the investigation would be completed. ZBT has been on probation since the fall of 1989, but Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson declined to speculate on the investigation's effects on the fraternity, saying she has not received a copy of the preliminary police report. The probation stems from a 1988 incident in which brothers hired two strippers for a rush event. During the strip show, some spectators performed sexual acts upon the women with cucumbers and ketchup. Before being placed on probation in 1989, the fraternity had been suspended from campus for 18 months. Morrisson said last night ZBT would remain on probation indefinitely, adding that the Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Board has recommended that ZBT's probationary status be lifted at the end of this term. Morrisson said she plans to meet with ZBT officials before then. Morrisson said she did not know if the police investigation would be an issue in her upcoming meeting with ZBT officials. "[ZBT] has worked hard to improve their chapter procedures," Morrisson said yesterday. "That is why the boards felt that probation should be lifted." Morrisson said any punishment of the entire ZBT chapter would occur only after an investigation by Judicial Inquiry Officer Constance Goodman. Goodman has yet to start an investigation of the alleged attempted rape, Morrisson said. If Goodman determines that a sexual assault occurred and that the fraternity is collectively responsible, the issue would go back to the FSAB. The board would then recommend a punishment to Morrisson. Morrisson said she did not know how ZBT's probation would effect any punishment of the fraternity. "If an individual were on probation, a second violation could make things worse," said Morrisson. "However, if it were a collective issue, it depends on the circumstances." Some members of the University community were upset yesterday about the University Police Department's handling of the incident. The alleged crime was first reported by the University in Tuesday's edition of the Almanac. University Council Safety and Security Committee Co-chairperson Jeffery Jacobson said during yesterday's University Council meeting that his committee has not been informed of the incident, and asked for an explanation how the University has responded to the reported assault. President Sheldon Hackney responded only by saying that "the investigation is going on now. We will pursue it energetically." Students Together Against Acquaintance Rape executive board member Erica Strohl said she was concerned by the report. "We expect that the University will respond to this with thorough investigation," said the College senior. "We also find the incident distressing in light of ZBT's history of violence against women."Comments powered by Disqus
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