USC fraternity suspended; sexual assault, drugging allegations continue mounting

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating reports of sexual assault and drugging at a fraternity chapter that the University of Southern California suspended Thursday after initial allegations were logged.

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Meanwhile, the USC Department of Public Safety confirmed to KTLA on Saturday that it has fielded “additional reports of sexual assault, as well as additional reports of drugging or drugs being placed into drinks without consent” since Sigma Nu’s USC suspension was announced publicly.

“The new reports involve conduct during the fall semester at additional fraternity houses, as well as at an unknown location,”  the department added.

The LAPD confirmed to the Daily Trojan that Ryan Schiffilea, former president of the USC Sigma Nu chapter, is a “main suspect” in at least one of the sexual assaults reported. Schiffilea has been questioned by detectives, but he has not been arrested or charged with any crimes as of Saturday night, the newspaper reported.

LAPD spokesperson Det. Meghan Aguilar confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Schiffilea was questioned after a woman reported that she was sexually assaulted in Oct. 16.

Both the LAPD and the university are investigating the reports, and the Interfraternity Council has paused all social activities, KTLA reported.

“We also anticipate that there may be additional reports or information that come to light through these investigations,” USC’s Department of Public Safety stated.

According to the Times, USC officials confirmed Thursday that it placed Sigma Nu on interim suspension, blocking it from hosting or organizing any activities, one day after six students filed reports with the DPS stating that they had been drugged at the fraternity house on Sept. 27. One student reported having been drugged and sexually assaulted.

“Such behaviors are deeply disturbing, they hurt people and go against everything we stand for as a community,” USC President Carol Folt said in a message to the campus community. “We are sorry for the pain and anguish this is causing.”

Folt’s message indicated only that an individual connected to the allegations had been suspended, but it was not immediately clear if Schiffilea is the unnamed student she referenced,  the Times reported.

According to the newspaper, USC reported the allegations and chapter suspension to Sigma Nu’s national headquarters, and the unnamed individual Folt said had been suspended from the university has also been suspended by both the national and USC Sigma Nu chapter. An internal memo circulated to parents of current fraternity members and alumni announced those suspensions without naming the individual.

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