alleged sexual assault at phi kappa psi house

by brenda paiz

A 20-year-old female was allegedly sexually assaulted on Wednesday morning at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house located on Spruce Street, according to the Morgantown Police Department.

"We have identified the victim, however, we have not questioned her about the incident yet," said Morgantown Police 1st Sgt. Harold Sperringer.

The incident is currently being investigated by the Morgantown police, he said.

The incident allegedly took place at about 1 a.m. when the victim and a male friend went to the fraternity house located at 780 North Spruce St., according to the police report.

The victim reported that she was allegedly taken into a private room with four males and was forcibly demanded to perform oral sex on the four men, according to the report.

Allegedly, after several failed attempts to escape, the victim was forced to stay in the room and the four men pulled down her pants.

Patrick Niederriter, Inner Fraternity Council president and WVU student, declined to give any information until Phi Kappa Psi, which he is also a member of, was informed of further details.

Andy Wilkins, president of the fraternity's House Corporation, did not release any information regarding the incident. The fraternity has hired defense attorney Tom Dyer, he said.

"We are cooperating with the investigation. We have not uncovered any significant evidence regarding the incident as of now," Dyer said.

The fraternity will also be conducting an internal investigation, he said.

West Virginia University officials are aware of the investigation, said Becky Lofstead, spokeswoman for the University.

"Student Life officials and others are cooperating fully with the Morgantown Police Department's investigation," she said.

The victim was allegedly very upset and was very reluctant to provide detailed information, according to the police report.

"(While the case is being investigated) the fraternity has been informed to cease all group activities on and off campus, pending the outcome of the investigation," Lofstead said.


Published February 2007, The Daily Athenaeum