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Sexual assaults alleged at USC fraternity

April 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Three allegations of sexual assault are being investigated at the University of Southern California after a party at a fraternity house near campus. USC officials say they have reports of three alleged sexual assault victims. Los Angeles Police Department detectives say they are investigating one alleged assault, and possibly others. They say they do not have any possible suspects. They are early in their investigation.

Eyewitness News spoke to USC students and members of the Greek community. They say they hope authorities make arrests soon.

USC officials say they received reports that three USC female students were allegedly sexually assaulted very early Wednesday morning at the USC Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house, on the 700 block of 28th Street near campus.

LAPD detectives say they are investigating the alleged sexual assault of one USC female student, a 19-year-old who they say claims she consumed punch with an unknown intoxicant at a social event at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Investigators say the student became unconscious and when she awoke she was partially unclothed and believed she had been sexually assaulted.

Eyewitness News spoke to USC students and members of the Greek community.

"You don't expect that when you're out with people who you're supposed to be friends, something of this sort should happened," said USC student Neha Dayani. "I mean it's explainable if it happens at a random house at a stranger's place, it happens because of people you don't know. But when you're having fun with friends and something like this happens, it's really sad."

"I actually find that like really important, pretty gross, so I mean like honestly I hope they get what's coming to them, and I don't think that that's acceptable behavior by anyone," said USC student Tom Brightbill.

Even though USC officials are reporting there are three alleged victims, LAPD investigators say for now they have talked to one apparent victim and they are looking to whether or not there could be others

"She's the only one that has been reported at this time," said LAPD Captain Denis Cremins. "We're certainly entertaining the possibility there may have been other victims and that's why we're appealing to the public, that if you were at this party and you saw anything that was consistent with the sexual assault, or if you yourself were sexually assaulted, we need to get your information and to come forward."

USC Vice President of Student Affairs Michael Jackson issued this statement:

"USC takes sexual assaults very seriously and is fully cooperating with the LAPD on the investigation. We are reaching out to the students and providing as much help as possible. We are also conducting our own investigation into student conduct issues and have placed the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity on interim suspension until all the facts are known."

Detectives say if you believe you are a victim or if you can help with the investigation, they want you to call them at (877) LAPD 24-7, (877-527-3247).


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