Protest held outside ECU Theta Chi frat house after report of drink tampering & sexual assault

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - An alert sent out by East Carolina University says university police got a report Tuesday of an alleged drink tampering of two people, one of which led to a sexual assault at the Theta Chi fraternity house.

A protest was held Tuesday at 9 p.m. at the Theta Chi house in response to the alleged drink tampering and sexual assault.

ECU Police removed the protesters from outside of the fraternity house for legal reasons, telling them they could protest at the ECU Student Center.

The same fraternity was investigated for drink tampering in October 2020 and October 2021. It was also investigated for sexual assault alongside the drink tampering investigation in the fall of 2021. Protests followed in an effort to get the fraternity removed from campus.

ECU student Lillian Yardley says people weren’t shocked at Tuesday’s report because of past allegations, however students remain hopeful that a change will finally come.

“This is the third time that this happened, at Theta Chi Fraternity unfortunately,” Yardley said. “You know they saying three times a charm, we’re hoping maybe the charm for the third time will be too fully look into it and stop the actual problem.”

Yardley says the fraternity’s alleged misconduct shines a negative light on ECU as a whole.

“I realize that this can happen in any fraternity but we just need to stop overlooking because overall Theta Chi puts a negative outlook on ECU,” Yardley said.

The Tuesday alert says that the drink tampering and sexual assault took place on Aug. 20th, 2022 and that the alleged perpetrator is known to the victim.

“Sex offenses are treated with seriousness on our campus. There are free confidential and private resources available to provide supportive measures through both the university disciplinary and criminal processes to all parties,” the alert further states.

The university reminds people to not accept drinks at social gatherings and to report any suspicious or criminal activity as soon as possible.

Theta Chi headquarters in Indiana sent WITN a statement saying, “Theta Chi Fraternity has been made aware of allegations of drink tampering and sexual assault at East Carolina University. Fraternity staff members have been in contact with ECU administrators and are investigating and gathering facts related to the allegations.”

ECU’s Theta Chi got in trouble in the fall of 2021 after a reported drink tampering and sexual assault case at the fraternity house on Oct. 29th.

A 30-day cease and desist order was issued on Nov. 11th, restricting all chapter operations of the fraternity at the school, with the exception of official chapter meetings.

In February, the Greenville Police Department said its investigation into the sexual assault case was “considered closed as the victim decided not to proceed with a criminal investigation.”

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