LOCAL NEWS

Police investigating after reported sexual assault at U of U fraternity

Oct 3, 2022, 12:55 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2022, 10:42 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Police are investigating after a University of Utah student reported being drugged and sexually assaulted at a fraternity house.

According to the University of Utah Police, the student reported going to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house with friends on Thursday. The victim told investigators they remembered feeling sick and nauseous as if they had been drugged.

The victim was later taken to a local hospital where they reported being sexually assaulted. After receiving that report, U. police contacted Salt Lake City police.

“While the fraternity house falls within the university’s federally required geographic reporting area, the location is off-campus and within the Salt Lake City Police Department’s jurisdiction,” U. police said.

Salt Lake City Police said Monday the Special Victims Unit is handling the case.

Our detectives will speak with the victims, any witnesses who may have been there to identify suspects in this case, and obviously locate them and talk to them to see what happened, said Sergeant Mark Wian.

He said they have connected the person with victim advocates for survivor-centered and trauma-informed resources.

Monday morning, the University of Utah sent a safety alert notification email to all students, faculty, and staff outlining the incident.

UofU junior Lorelei Sole said she received the notification while in class, and opened it immediately. She said other students mentioned the sexual assault in passing after receiving the alert.

“I think it’s really frustrating that no one’s safe anywhere,” she said. “We go to a place to have fun, have a good time with our friends, and then we come out traumatized.”

In the alert, the university offered additional support and resources available for students through the SafeU website, through the SafeUT app, and through the U’s Basic Needs Center.

Additional support and resources are available for students at the SafeU website, through the SafeUT app, and through the U’s Basic Needs Center.

“The University of Utah supports and believes victims when they report cases of sexual violence,” university officials said in a statement. “It takes great courage to report these crimes, and we encourage survivors to reach out in the wake of these notifications for support from friends, victim advocates, counselors and/or law enforcement.”

Anyone with information on the incident was asked to call SLC police at 801-799-3000.

The U. said all social events will be suspended for Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity until further notice. Dean of Students Jason Ramirez said that “the university’s focus remains creating a safe environment for all students and holding those accountable who infringe and violate the safety of others.”

The U.’s statement also said any retaliatory harassment, vandalism or violence against the members of Pi Kappa Alpha or the Greek community will be investigated.

“While the investigation proceeds, we urge everyone to treat all members of the campus community with respect and kindness—including the 130 members of the fraternity chapter in this case and the 1,800 members of fraternity and sorority life organizations,” university officials said.

KSL reached out to Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity and received the following statement.

“The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity (PIKE) was recently informed of a reported incident that is said to have occurred September 29 in the Fraternity house. The local PIKE chapter leadership is committed to cooperating with University of Utah officials and the Salt Lake City Police Department in investigations. The Fraternity condemns sexual assault, abuse, misconduct or violence, and holds its members to high standards of accountability. This matter is being given the utmost serious attention.”

In 2010, the U.’s chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was suspended while its national headquarters investigated an anonymous hazing complaint.

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Police investigating after reported sexual assault at U of U fraternity