Assault Reported at Suspended Univ. of Iowa Frat House

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, 302 Ridgeland Avenue, at the University of Iowa on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, in Iowa City, Iowa. The fraternity's national headquarters suspended the charter of its Iowa Beta chapter over allegations of hazing. All of its members have been expelled from the fraternity. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - An allegation of sexual assault at the now shuttered University of Iowa Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was reported to Iowa City police on Sept. 11, and investigators are looking into whether charges are warranted.

The alleged incident occurred on Sept. 8, according to Iowa City police Sgt. Denise Brotherton. She didn’t provide additional details about the accusations, except that they were made by an adult.

Brotherton said she doesn’t know details about the allegations that prompted the national Sigma Alpha headquarters on Monday to close the Iowa fraternity for hazing and failing to comply with fraternity standards and policies.

UI administrators have said they’re investigating the hazing allegations as well, and Brotherton said she doesn’t know whether the sexual assault allegation is tied to any alleged hazing practices.

About 90 members of the UI chapter have been expelled from the fraternity and have been given 10 days to move out of the house at 302 Ridgeland Ave.

Specifics about the hazing incidents have not been made public, but fraternity officials said suspensions are extremely rare, and a statement from the UI suggests that alcohol was involved.

“The university does not tolerate hazing or unsafe and illegal consumption of alcohol in any of its student organizations,” according to the statement.

The UI previously received complaints of hazing in 2008 and 2009 against the fraternity, and UI spokesman Tom Moore said sanctions were imposed.
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