LA University Warns Community Over Rape Allegations at Unregistered Frat

A spokesman for the national Sigma Alpha Epsilon organization said it is investigating one sexual assault allegation that may involve members

Los Angeles's Loyola Marymount University has recommended that students avoid events affiliated with an unrecognized, off-campus fraternity, citing new evidence of sexual assaults there.

The warning said an investigation into a Nov. 1 rape report revealed it had taken place at a party organized by Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which is not registered with LMU, at a party on the 8700 block of Yorktown Avenue.

Other, similar allegations of sexual assault have been made about other events or parties held or affiliated with the fraternity, said the alert, sent Friday, Dec. 5, at about 6:15 p.m.

"Based upon this new information, and given the potential for ongoing safety and security risks, the University strongly recommends that all students and LMU community members consider avoiding events affiliated with, organized, hosted or sponsored by SAE," the alert said.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the allegations along with campus security, according to the alert.

It was sent to the 9,395 students and members of the LMU campus community in the Westchester neighborhood, near Los Angeles International Airport.

The fraternity house is almost three miles from campus in a residential neighborhood in the 8700 block of Yorktown Avenue.

One resident said that the parents of one of the alleged victims handed out fliers warning neighbors that “a violent rape/strangulation occurred in your neighborhood.”

Neighbors said they've had run-ins with students at the frat house.

"Well, 3:30 in the morning when they come out of that house, after a college party, I guess, I've witnessed gentlemen urinating on my lawn," said neighbor Danny Sachen.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon's national headquarters is investigating the circumstances around one alleged sexual assault where members of "our group at Loyola Marymount University may have been present," a spokesman said in an e-mail.

The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon website lists a colony at LMU. Colonies are roughly two-year trial chapters whose members can become brothers in the fraternity if they've proven that they can run a chapter efficiently, according to the fraternity's website.

"Any form of assault or sexual misconduct is unacceptable, and we will not tolerate actions that are inconsistent with our values," spokesman Brandon Weghorst said.

An e-mail to the LMU colony's contact was not immediately returned, and an LMU spokesman did not return a phone message. Campus security confirmed that the alert was sent.

The issue of sexual assault on college campuses has made national headlines following a Rolling Stone article featuring one woman's story of being gang raped at a University of Virginia fraternity house that sparked a major backlash and prompted the university to temporarily suspend Greek activities.

On Friday, however, the magazine acknowledged what it said were discrepancies in the woman's story and its failure to contact the alleged attackers.

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