5 report frat house drugging, sex assaults in Berkeley

The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity near UC Berkeley. Photo: Google maps
Five people said they were drugged and sexually assaulted over the weekend at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity near UC Berkeley. Photo: Google maps

Update, 2 p.m. The University of California Police Department has released a new alert saying that one member of a fraternity says he was sexually assaulted by another, and that there may be other victims.

“A leadership member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity contacted a UC Berkeley Campus Security Authority. The leadership member reported that he was contacted by a member of the Berkeley Theta Delta Chi fraternity,” UCPD wrote. “The member reported that he had been sexually assaulted by another current UC Berkeley Theta Delta Chi fraternity member. The reporting member stated that there may be other victims.”

UCPD turned this information over to the Berkeley Police Department, which said no activity of this nature has been reported to it.

No additional information was released.


Original story, 1 p.m. Police say five people came forward to report having been sexually assaulted after being given “roofies” — also known as “the date rape drug” — at a fraternity near the UC Berkeley campus over the weekend.

That report comes on the heels of a recent weekend where three women said they were sexually assaulted in fraternities or near the Cal campus. One man was charged with rape in connection with one of those cases, but he was exonerated of the charge against him Friday morning.

The University of California Police Department released a brief statement Thursday evening about the most recent reports.

According to that statement, five people said they were given “roofies” before being sexually assaulted at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity in the 2300 block of Piedmont Avenue.

The report was made to a “campus security authority,” someone who is required by law to tell police about crimes they learn of.

The UCPD statement included no information about the type of assaults alleged to have taken place, though it did caution recipients that its “message may contain information that some may find upsetting.”

UCPD Lt. Eric Tejada said he could not confirm the gender of the reporting parties, or if they were UC Berkeley students, because that was unclear from the information he received.

“Based on the [campus security authority] report I can’t say for certain,” he said via email.

UCPD said none of the allegations have been reported to the Berkeley Police Department, which has jurisdiction over Delta Kappa Epsilon.

The term “roofies” is slang for a drug also known as Rohypnol, which is a potent sedative and relaxant that can cause amnesia.

Delta Kappa Epsilon did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment.

The fraternity is not officially sanctioned by UC Berkeley, though it has a long history that dates back to 1844, according to its website. In 2009, the fraternity’s university affiliation was suspended following reports of hazing, problems with student conduct and other violations related to fire safety, according to UC Berkeley campus newspaper The Daily Californian. When the suspension ended, the fraternity decided to remain unaffiliated to maintain its independence.

UCPD is required by law — under the Jeanne Clery Act of 1998 — to send out notices when certain crimes are reported on or near campus property: “These timely warnings provide information about campus safety situations, and allow campus community members to take precautions for personal safety.”

According to UCPD’s annual report, which was released in September, 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 ask anyone with information about the recent allegations to call the Berkeley Police at 510-981-5900.

UCPD safety tips related to sexual assault

•  The majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the survivor knows.

•  No action or inaction by a crime survivor makes that person responsible for his or her victimization. Perpetrators are responsible for crimes and their effects. The following suggestions may help reduce the possibility of experiencing a crime, or may improve opportunities to receive prompt assistance.

•  Always seek consent. Stop your sexual advances if the other person indicates no interest or if they say “no.”  Engaging in any type of sexual activity without the explicit consent of your partner is sexual assault. If either party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, consent cannot be given.

•  Do not take advantage of someone who is passed out, incoherent or otherwise incapacitated.

•  Be respectful of yourself and others. Make sure that any sexual act is OK with your partner, and remember that consent is an active process, not the absence of no.

•  If you notice a situation that seems unsafe for another student, intervene if it is safe to do so or call for support.

•  When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other frequently and leave together.

This story was updated Friday afternoon to reflect new information about a rape charge that was brought against a UC Berkeley student who was found Friday morning to be factually innocent.

Related:
Berkeley police: Drug was used in Cal fraternity rape case (10.07.14)
Berkeley police make frat house arrest in rape case (10.03.14)
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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