University of Virginia

U.Va. Asks Police to Investigate Report of Frat-House Rape

The University of Virginia's president says she has asked Charlottesville police to investigate allegations that a female student was raped by several men at a fraternity house.

President Teresa A. Sullivan announced the investigation in a statement posted Wednesday evening on the university's website. She says she issued it in response to a Rolling Stone article in which a student describes an assault by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi house in September 2012.

Sullivan says the article includes details that weren't disclosed to university officials previously.

The article says U.Va. administrators and students keep sexual assaults at the school quiet. Sullivan says the university takes sexual misconduct seriously.

Charlottesville police Lt. Steve Upman tells The Daily Progress that the investigation is in in the preliminary stages. He declined to comment further.

In a statement, Phi Kappa Psi said it takes the allegations "very seriously," adding that there's "been no criminal investigations or charges of sexual assault brought against any member of the chapter."

Gov. Terry McAuliffe, whose campus sex assault task force began meeting last month, issued a statement saying he is "deeply disturbed" by the allegations in the Rolling Stone story.

"I have asked university officials to conduct a full review of all of their policies and procedures … and if decided, to bring in outside experts to assist in this effort," he said.

Connie Kirkland, who oversees sexual assault services for Northern Virginia Community College, testified before the governor’s task force Wednesday and offered guidance on how to improve campus response to sexual assault. She believes students need to be able to report initially to a confidential advocate on campus who can lay out the options, including possible prosecution.

According to NBC29, Charlottesville police received a request for extra officers on campus Wednesday night from a fraternity, but the name of that fraternity was not disclosed.

Photos tweeted by the NBC affiliate Thursday morning show two windows at the Phi Kappa Psi house shattered and the words "Suspend us!," spray painted beneath a sign.

Police responded to a report of vandalism at the fraternity at 2:45 a.m. Thursday and found windows broken by bottles and chunks of cinder block. They are investigating.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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