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Forcible rape reported to have taken place at Sigma Nu, TUPD investigating

Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 13:11

signu

Meredith Klein / Tufts Daily

The Tufts University Police Department is investigating a report of a forcible rape alleged to have occurred at the Sigma Nu fraternity house at 92 Professors Row.

The Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) late last month received a report of a forcible rape at the Sigma Nu fraternity house, according to a public crime log TUPD provided to the Daily.

The alleged incident occurred at 9 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the fraternity house, which is located at 92 Professors Row, and was reported the following day, according to the log. TUPD Sgt. Joseph Tilton declined to provide further information because there is an ongoing investigation into the report.

When asked yesterday about the report, the president of Tufts' Sigma Nu chapter, senior Ryan Flood, said that the Daily's facts were incorrect. After later being shown a copy of the crime log, he declined comment, deferring further questions to the fraternity's national organization.

Brad Beacham, the executive director of the general fraternity headquarters for Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., in Lexington, Va., told the Daily that he was aware that the police were investigating the report of a rape at the Tufts chapter's house.

He stressed that he only had secondhand information provided to him in discussions with some members of the chapter and with Tufts' director of fraternity and sorority affairs, Tanya McGinn Paolo.

"Our members in the chapter there at Tufts are to my knowledge doing everything that they have been asked to do in terms of cooperating with the investigation," Beacham said.

Beacham said that, based on what he had heard, a Sigma Nu brother was not implicated in the investigation.

"It is my understanding that it is not a member of the fraternity that is alleged to have been involved in this," he said.

He added that the Daily's reporting on the information from the public log was, to his knowledge, accurate.

Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman yesterday declined to comment on the report because of TUPD's ongoing investigation. Paolo yesterday did not respond to multiple messages and e-mails requesting comment.

Beacham said that the national organization is keeping tabs on the investigation's progress but is trying to stay removed to allow the process to proceed properly.

"The information that we have is very, very limited while the police are conducting their investigation," he said.

TUPD originally informed the community about the alleged incident in a Nov. 1 e-mail, announcing that the department received a report of a sexual assault that may have occurred in a fraternity house over Halloween weekend; the message did not identity the fraternity involved.

In that e-mail, TUPD provided no more specific information, other than the fact that the suspect had not been arrested. Student leaders of the Greek community at Tufts subsequently expressed displeasure to the Daily that the e-mail painted the entire Greek system in a poor light.

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