Temple suspends Alpha Epsilon Pi while Philly police probe allegations of sexual assault at frat parties

Temple University has suspended one of its fraternities as Philadelphia and campus police investigate at least two sexual assaults, as well as underage drinking, during parties at the fraternity house.

Temple police issued a bulletin Friday saying they had received “multiple credible reports” of alleged crimes at Alpha Epsilon Pi’s house, a three-story brownstone at 2000 N. Broad St. These included sexual assault, underage drinking, and possible drug use.

Two of the alleged victims are 19-year-old Temple students.

The first alleged victim was sexually assaulted at a party in February and reported the incident to police in April. This case has been referred to the District Attorney’s Office, said Philadelphia Police Capt. Mark Burgmann, who heads the Special Victims Unit.

The second alleged victim told police that in March she went to a party at the fraternity where she was given several drinks.

“She said she became dizzy and disoriented, and that’s the last thing she remembered until she woke up in bed with one of the members of the fraternity,” Burgmann said at a Friday afternoon news conference.

“She believes she was sexually assaulted,” he added. This incident was also reported in April.

A third alleged victim spoke with Temple police recently. Burgmann said he didn’t have details about the incident, but hoped detectives will be able to speak with her next week. No charges have been filed and Burgmann couldn’t say whether detectives have names of possible suspects.

Temple has increased police presence in various areas, including the 2000 block of North Broad while the investigation continues.

In a statement, Alpha Epsilon Pi said the fraternity brothers “are appalled by these allegations against our entire chapter. This alleged behavior is absolutely against everything that we stand for as brothers of AEPI, as students at Temple University, and as members of our greater community.”

The statement further said that the fraternity had “absolutely no knowledge of the actions alleged about our chapter. If we determine that one of our members is responsible — or even has knowledge of who internally or externally is responsible — we will deal with them to the full extent of our powers, including beginning expulsion proceedings from the fraternity and turning them over to local and school authorities.”

“Alpha Epsilon Pi is a fraternity based in Jewish values and, through those teachings, we believe in treating all people with respect. If any of our members or guests is deemed responsible for this behavior, we want no part of them and will take the actions available to us to ensure that they are not associated with AEPI ever again,” the statement said.

Temple urged students to be vigilant.

If students are of age to drink alcohol, they should not leave any beverage unattended, the Temple statement said.

When socializing, students should make a pact to stay together and not leave anyone behind, Burgmann added. “If you go to a party together, leave together,” he said.

The university issued a statement asking students with information on the events or who need support regarding any concerns of sexual misconduct to contact Temple Police at 215-204-1234 or police@temple.edu; the Dean of Students’ Office at 215-204-7188 or  dos@temple.edu; or the Wellness Resource Center at 215-204-8436 or tuheart@temple.edu.