University SAE's review complete, Title IX investigation ongoing

University SAE's review complete, Title IX investigation ongoing
The SAE fraternity is under investigation by the Title IX board for a sexual assault that occurred in October. Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi's review of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter is complete.  The review started after a homecoming party in October at the fraternity house that led to possible drug and alcohol violations and an alleged sexual assault.

Tom Burke, vice provost and vice president for student affairs, said the fraternity was found to have two violations of Code of Student Conduct.  Those violations were: (1) vandalism of University property and (2) violation of the University's alcohol and drug policy related to the presence of "community alcohol."

An incident report obtained by WDAM 7 News from the campus police department said the fraternity was serving a community style "jungle juice" the night of the incident.

USM said the investigation of the chapter and any individuals affected did not produce medical evidence of other substances besides alcohol. Individual violations of the Code of Conduct and other university policies discovered during the course of the investigation continue to be addressed through established University processes.

We do know one fraternity member is under investigation by USM's Title IX board. The board handles sexual misconduct on campus. That member's lawyer, attorney Steve Irwin, contacted WDAM 7 News after a report was released.

He said the hearing had started, but will continue at a later date. Irwin represents the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

Twenty-five fraternity members have also been reprimanded from the review.

With the assistance of the SAE National Office, the local Alumni Advisory Board and the Office of Greek Life, the fraternity has undergone a membership review that has resulted in five members being expelled from the fraternity; five members being placed on early alum/inactive status; and 15 members being placed on probation.

All chapter activities remain suspended until Spring of 2017, unless approved in advance by the Office of Greek Life. The Office of Greek Life will continue to monitor the chapter's progress and will make recommendations to the Dean of Students concerning the future of chapter activities at the end of the 2017 spring semester.

Previous report: 

Seven On Your Side has obtained a police report that alleges that an SAE fraternity member at Southern Miss provided a 'white pill' that may have led to a sexual assault at a homecoming party in October.

The fraternity has been under investigation and disciplined by the Dean of Students Office.

The report, which was obtained through a public records request, outlined a female victim's recount of the night.

The female victim was located in a room in the house semi-conscious, no clue as to her whereabouts. According to the report, she appeared to have been drugged.

The report says a friend who was looking for the victim at the party found her and took her to her house.  She told police she checked on the victim throughout the evening.

On Sunday morning, the victim woke up with no recollection of the events that evening, but did say she had some vaginal bleeding.

According to the report, the victim's health and mentality began to decline. The report states she was nauseous, and unable to sit up or walk.

The report states that the victim admitted she was 'probably raped' but was speaking with 'a disregard to her life' and 'not caring what happened to her.'

The report also said the victim advised she was depressed.

Another detective was called in to speak with the victim. The victim agreed to a sexual assault exam. The kit was transported in November to the Mississippi Crime Lab for processing.

Another friend of the victim filed a report that claimed that five to six other girls went to the hospital. She also claimed all the girls were at the party and believed they had been drugged as well.

She also told police that an SAE member sent a text message asking her if anyone went to the hospital to be tested for drugs.

The report states that the five to six girls that went to the hospital are all from the same sorority.

A mother of one of the girls in the sorority filed a follow-up report that said her daughter only consumed 'one alcoholic drink' and 'does not remember the rest of the night.'

F. Paul Walters,the associate general counsel with the University of Southern Mississippi confirmed that an on-going investigation under Title IX is taking place involving students.

The identity of the students under investigation have not been released pending the on-going investigation with the Title IX board. However, Walters did confirm that no one involved in the incident has been removed from campus.

The fraternity is under social probation until 2018.

The Title IX board investigates sexual misconduct on school campuses.

WDAM 7 spoke with Steve J. Irwin, the attorney representing a the member under investigation of the SAE chapter, Friday.  Irwin said his client started his Title IX hearing Friday afternoon, but it was not completed.  Irwin said it was not made clear when the hearing would be continued.

"What I don't want to do is say something that is going to jeopardize my client's ability to get an education until this hearing is over with," said Irwin.

Irwin told WDAM 7 he is only representing one SAE member in this incident.  Irwin represents the fraternity as a whole and said he would have been made aware if others were involved.  Irwin said he has received results from toxicology tests involved in the investigation and will share those results with WDAM 7 when the hearing is concluded.