News

Alleged sexual battery reported at house

An alleged sexual battery is part of the ongoing investigation of the Epsilon Omega Chapter of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at UM, police said.

The incident was reported to the Coral Gables Police Department on Saturday, March 26, and allegedly took place early that morning. Later that week, the University suspended the fraternity indefinitely pending an investigation.

According to Community Affairs Officer Martin Barros, the alleged sexual battery at 5900 San Amaro Drive-the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house-involved two UM students. Police have interviewed the victim, witnesses and alleged perpetrator and are waiting for the results of a toxicology report to send the investigation to the state attorney’s office to see if any further action needs to be taken.

Kip Zurcher, chief operating officer of the national Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters, said the alleged sexual battery was a part of the headquarters’ investigation of the UM chapter.

“The chapter had an event of the house-a small gathering-and we heard allegations of a violation of conduct,” Zurcher said. “We’re sensitive to the police report and understanding of the gravity of it.”

A battery occurs “when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person” or “when a person intentionally causes bodily harm to another person,” according to Florida statutes.

Dr. Pat Whitely, vice president of Student Affairs, said the University does not comment on pending investigations.

Zurcher also said the headquarters has concluded its investigation after working closely with students, alumni and the Dean of Students office. As of press time Wednesday, Zurcher said a response from the Lambda Chi Alpha national Board of Directors was expected by the end of the week.

“We want to be sure we’re providing a safe environment for the students,” Zurcher said. “That’s our top concern.”

Patricia Mazzei can be contacted at pmazzei@miami.edu.

April 22, 2005

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.