ECU students react to report of drink tampering and sexual assault at Theta Chi fraternity house

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) – Students at Eastern Carolina University have more questions than answers regarding an alert sent by the university about alleged drinking tampering with two people, including the one allegedly led to a sexual assault at the Theta Chi fraternity house.

Aspen Savage, a freshman at ECU, said the alert caught her off guard.

“I was surprised, shocked to see it,” Savage said. “I’m weird. I thought we would be past that because it’s 2022, but these things happen.

Vincent Deluca, a freshman at ECU, says he feels like when he goes out, he’s extra vigilant when around women.

“I mean I feel safe, I feel like I don’t need to worry,” Deluca said. “But when I go out with my girlfriends, I obviously check on them if they need anything.”

A protest was held at 9pm on Tuesday at the Theta Chi house in response to the alleged drink tampering and sexual assault.

The same fraternity was investigated for drink tampering in October 2020 and October 2021. It was also investigated for sexual assault alongside the drink tampering investigation at the fall 2021. Protests followed in an effort to have the fraternity removed from campus.

Tuesday’s alert says the drink tampering and sexual assault took place on August 20, 2022, and the alleged perpetrator is known to the victim.

“Sexual offenses are treated seriously on our campus. There are free confidential and private resources available to provide support through academic disciplinary and criminal processes to all parties,” the alert further states.

The university reminds people not to accept drinks at social gatherings and to report suspicious or criminal activity as soon as possible.

Theta Chi’s Indiana headquarters sent WITN a statement saying, “The Theta Chi fraternity has been notified of allegations of drink tampering and sexual assault at Eastern Carolina University. Brotherhood staff members have been in contact with ECU administrators and are investigating and gathering facts related to the allegations.

After the report of beverage tampering and sexual assault reported in the fall of 2021, a 30-day cease and desist order was issued on November 11, 2021, restricting all fraternity chapter operations to the school, with the exception of official chapter meetings.

In February, the Greenville Police Department said its investigation into the sexual assault case was “considered closed as the victim has decided not to open a criminal investigation.”

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