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Rape of Ohio State student could be on cellphone video

OSU Police were granted a search warrant by Franklin County Municipal Court to obtain a cellphone that might have a video of a student being raped in a residence hall on campus. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for Design

Ohio State Police were granted a search warrant to obtain a cellphone that might contain a video of a student being raped at a residence hall on April 12, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.

The student told police she might have been sexually assaulted in a Canfield Hall restroom or shower area after a night in which she attended an off-campus party at a fraternity, according to an affidavit for a search warrant Ohio State Police filed with the court. The accused male was a friend with whom she said she had attended the party.

Ohio State spokesman Dan Hedman said in an email this is currently an ongoing investigation by OSUPD.

“These matters have been referred to law enforcement,” Hedman said. “Due to the ongoing investigation there are no additional details we can share at this time.”

The search warrant was granted to University Police on April 18, and the phone was handed over to University Police later that day by attorney Sam Shamansky.

The Lantern does not report names of potential victims of rape unless given permission. The Lantern reached out to Shamansky for comment on the report but has not received a response.

The student told police she went to a party at the “AEΠ” fraternity on April 12 and that she had an alcoholic seltzer, wine from a box and a drink from a cup an unknown male was holding.

“AEΠ” are the Greek letters for Alpha Epsilon Pi, a fraternity suspended by Ohio State in May 2018 for five years after repeated violations of the university’s Code of Student Conduct. It was found to have violated the Alcohol, Hazing and Endangering Behavior section, as well as the Failure to Comply with Earlier Sanctions section of the Code of Student Conduct.

She was unable to recall anything after the drinks from the evening, including leaving the party or returning to her dorm in Canfield Hall, with much of the information later in the evening having come from her roommate.

Her roommate told the victim she had returned to her dorm early in the morning wearing clothes belonging to the accused male. The male told the roommate that he had placed the victim in the shower to wash her, but later returned to confess to the roommate that he and the victim had sexual intercourse in the shower.

Two days later, the victim said she was approached by another friend who said that on April 12, he had been shown a video on the male’s phone of two people having sex, though the video did not show faces.

The affidavit indicates the victim had suffered bruises to her head, left eye, both forearms, hips and inner thighs, and she had been taken to the Wexner Medical Center for a sexual assault examination.

“Alpha Epsilon Pi International and our Brothers of the Eta Chapter in Columbus, Ohio believe that there is absolutely no place in our organization for sexual harassment or assault of any kind,” Jonathan Pierce, spokesman for Alpha Epsilon Pi, said in a statement. “As a Jewish fraternity, one of the values of our teachings we hold most important is that it is wrong to treat anyone without dignity, no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation or religion. This, obviously, applies to sexual assault and harassment. The member accused of this incident has been immediately suspended from our chapter and is pending permanent expulsion from Alpha Epsilon Pi. If we determine that other members were knowledgeable of this situation and did not come forward, they too will be immediately suspended.”

Hedman asks that “anyone with information related to criminal acts should report them immediately by calling University Police at 614-292-2121 or Columbus Police at 614-645-4545. Resources have been made available to students impacted by this incident.”

Correction on April 26 at 9:52 a.m.: Shamansky is not representing the accused. 

Updated on April 26 at 3:57 p.m. to include statement from Alpha Epsilon Pi.

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