Berkeley police make frat house arrest in rape case

Delta Upsilon at UC Berkeley. Image: Google maps
Delta Upsilon at UC Berkeley. Image: Google maps

Update, July 5, 2016: The student’s name has been removed at his request due to the finding of factual innocence.

Update, Oct. 17: The case against the student has been dismissed, and he has been exonerated and found factually innocent.

Original story, Oct. 3: Police have arrested a 20-year-old UC Berkeley student in connection with a sexual assault reported last weekend.

Berkeley police arrested the student Thursday at UC Berkeley’s Delta Upsilon fraternity house at 2425 Warring St. after serving a search warrant there, authorities said. As of Friday afternoon, he had been released on bail, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.


Thursday, the University of California Police Department sent out an email notice to report two instances of sexual assault at fraternities Saturday. Both had been reported to the Berkeley Police Department.

Berkeley police also received a report of a third sexual assault Saturday that “may have occurred in a fraternity,” according to UCPD. No further information on those incidents has been released. 

The Alameda County district attorney’s office said no information was available regarding the arrest as of Friday afternoon.

Police said the student was arrested on suspicion of raping a person who could not give consent due to intoxication. Authorities said the alleged incident involving him took place inside Delta Upsilon, and was one of the two reported inside Berkeley fraternities Saturday.

According to the University of California Police Department’s annual report, which was released Wednesday, there were 33 forcible sexual offenses related to campus reported last year, 23 the prior year, and 45 in 2011. Those included incidents on campus, in student housing, off campus and on public property.

Off-campus incidents, which can include those in fraternities and sororities, in the co-ops and at University Village in Albany, increased from seven in 2012 to 17 in 2013.

Police generally release limited information after sex crimes occur, which they say is to protect the victim due to the sensitive nature of the crime. As a result, it can be difficult to impossible to know the severity of the crime that took place. From UCPD’s annual report, “The general term, sexual assault, covers a number of related crimes, including rape, which is penile-vaginal penetration. Other acts of sexual assault include oral copulation, anal intercourse, penetration of the anus or vagina with a foreign object, and touching an intimate part of another person, all without consent.”

According to its website, the fraternity has been active on the UC campus for more than 100 years: “Since 1896, the men of the California Chapter of Delta Upsilon have played an integral role in the history of the University of California, contributing to the Berkeley campus in the areas of academics, athletics, student government, and the leadership of a wide variety of organizations.”

The fraternity was founded in 1834, according to DU’s website, as the first non-secret fraternity in the country. Its motto is “Justice our Foundation.”

Update, 7:10 p.m. Delta Upsilon’s vice president of finance, responded by email to a Berkeleyside request for comment: “I can’t say a lot about the situation. We are currently working with our international headquarters and with authorities. But to be respectful of the situation and of everyone involved, we have no additional comments at this time. As we are able to share more, we will share more.”

Update, 7:50 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department has released a statement to confirm it is investigating three sexual assaults last Saturday, Sept. 27, in the area south of the UC Berkeley campus.

In one case, a woman said she had been assaulted at a fraternity in the 2400 block of Warring.

Police served a search warrant Thursday at 8:15 p.m. at 2425 Warring, at Delta Upsilon, in connection with that incident.

Police arrested the student during that search on suspicion of rape while the victim was unconscious or asleep.

According to the police statement, no further information will be released at this time: “In the interest of maintaining the integrity of these investigations we will not be releasing specific facts regarding the assaults nor will we be releasing a booking photograph of the suspect.”

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said via email that there is no indication at this point that the three cases are connected. The victims in all three reported incidents are female.

Police continue to work the case. Authorities ask anyone with information about these cases to call the Berkeley Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at 510-981-5735. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Numerous resources aimed at survivors of sexual violence can be found in UCPD’s annual report. Berkeleyside will update this story if more information becomes available.

Safety tips from UCPD

•  Do not leave drinks unattended and be wary of accepting drinks from people you do not know well. To be even more careful, make sure you open and pour your own drink and don’t share drinks with others.

•  If a friend starts to exhibit symptoms of a date rape drug, seek medical help immediately. Signs to look for include dizziness and/or nausea, memory loss, breathing or motion difficulties, and acting disproportionately intoxicated relative to the amount of alcohol consumed.

•  Talk to your friends. Agree to look out for each other. Let them know if you plan to leave with someone, where you’re going, and when you’ll be back.

•  If you think someone is at risk for sexual assault, consider it an emergency and get involved. Don’t wait for someone else to act.

•  Consent means everyone involved wants to participate. Consent cannot be given if someone is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs; if someone is passed out, unconscious, asleep, or coming in or out of consciousness; under direct or implied threat of bodily harm or other forms of coercion; if any party is under 18; if someone has a physical, developmental or mental disability that impairs the ability to understand the act.

•  If you know the perpetrator, tell him or her you do not approve of what s/he is doing. Ask him or her to leave the potential victim alone.

Related:
Update: UC Berkeley student exonerated of rape charge (10.17.14)
Berkeley Police seek info, suspect after sexual assault (06.26.14)
16-year-old girl found naked, pepper-sprayed in Elmwood (04.16.14)
Berkeley man arrested after attempted rape, sexual assault (11.14.13)
Op-ed: A history of sexual violence at UC Berkeley (10.17.13)
Rape awareness event comes to Berkeley Saturday (10.10.13)
Police investigate armed rape in People’s Park (09.04.13)
45 years to life sentence for sexual assaults in Berkeley (07.12.13)
Police seek help finding Berkeley man wanted for assault (06.28.13)
UCPD creates night patrol unit for south of Cal campus (01.29.13)

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