Ivy League Fraternity President Is Charged With Sexual Assault
The president of an Ivy League university fraternity has been charged with a sexual assault that allegedly took place in his Ithaca, New York frat house bedroom.
Wolfgang Ballinger, president of Cornell University's Psi Upsilon chapter, turned himself in to police Feb. 4 after a campus-wide crime alert had been posted days earlier informing students of the alleged assault, according to a university statement.
The 21-year-old was charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, and first-degree sexual abuse on Feb. 4.
According to Cornell campus police, Ballinger was remanded to the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.
He is due back in Ithaca City Court on Tuesday, Feb. 9 for a preliminary hearing.
The day after the alleged assault, the university put the frat on temporary suspension.
In a statement, Cornell University President Elizabeth Garrett responded to the charges and mentioned the fraternity, but not Ballinger, by name.
"I am deeply disturbed by the allegations of sexual assault involving the president of Psi Upsilon," she said. "Sexual violence has no place at Cornell, and if these allegations are substantiated, those involved will be held accountable."
After Ballinger's arrest, the national Psi Upsilon headquarters suspended the Cornell Chapter, BuzzFeed reports.
"Sexual assault, and any form of sexual harassment, is against our policy and in opposition of the values of Psi Upsilon," Psi Upsilon executive director Thomas Fox said in a statement. "Our chapter is cooperating with Cornell’s investigation into this matter and any members involved will be held accountable."
Ballinger's defense attorney, James Baker, says his client is not guilty of the charges that have been filed against him. His innocence will be established at the proper time and in the proper place - which is in the courts, Baker said.