Middletown Police are investigating an attempted sexual assault at a fraternity on the Wesleyan University campus. A lawsuit is pending over a 2010 rape at the same fraternity.
About a week ago, Middletown Police responded to a call at the Mu Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at Wesleyan. Police say an individual was allegedly assaulted, but was able to fend off the attacker and flee during an attempted sexual assault. The name and sex of the victim have not been released and its not clear if it was a Wesleyan student.
Its not the first time there have been allegations of rape at this fraternity. Tim O’Keefe is a trial attorney in Hartford.
"We represent along with our co-counsel a young woman who was raped. She was sexually assaulted at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity in Middletown, Connecticut."
In this 2010 case, the victim is a former Wesleyan student who has since transferred. Her assailant pleaded guilty and is currently incarcerated.
O'Keefe’s lawsuit names the fraternity and the university among others.
"Dangerous things are happening at that property. So unless the school is going to step in to take significant action, I think their only choice at this point in time is to simply shut it down."
The school will not comment or participate in interviews.
On campus, student Matt Leibowitz says Wesleyan’s done a good job keeping people informed. He’s a member of a different fraternity and active in efforts to improve campus safety. He says frat houses aren’t the only places where sexual assaults take place.
"We have to focus on the campus culture and not shut down fraternities, or make restrictions so high that certain events can’t happen but rather to make sure those events can happen in a safe and fun manner."
A recent report by the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services finds colleges in the state have taken important steps to address and prevent sexual violence on campus. CONNSACS recommends that student members of Greek life be required to receive sexual assault education.
For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.