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Two charged with sexual assault

Two+charged+with+sexual+assault

Two members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity were arraigned Wednesday for charges of sexual assault, sexual abuse and kidnapping.

Gregory Haft, a 19-year-old pre-nursing undergraduate student, and Ellery Gordon, a 20-year-old biology undergraduate student, were indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 28 on two counts each of sexual abuse and one count each of sexual assault and kidnapping.

The victim, a UA student, told the Pima County Superior Court on Wednesday that she was at the fraternity house on Feb. 5 when Haft informed her there was another party upstairs, according to court records. Once the woman went upstairs, she said, Haft and Gordon locked her in a room, removed her clothing and inappropriately touched her.

According to the documents, officers said they noticed bruises all over her.

The two men were indicted on charges of kidnapping a woman for sexual purposes, forcing her to perform oral sex and touching her breasts and vagina without her consent. All the charges are classified as felonies.

The Pima County Attorney’s office originally requested $150,000 bail for Haft and Gordon. A bail of $50,000 was imposed, which both paid and were released.

Haft and Gordon were both given permission to leave for spring break but are not allowed to drink alcohol or consume any illegal substances.

The next court date, a case management conference, is scheduled for April 25.

Pi Kappa Phi President Yoseph Arsala, a finance junior, said he became aware of the alleged incident after the fact because he was not in town that day but denied that a party occurred at the fraternity house on Feb. 5. He said Haft and Gordon are no longer Pi Kappa Phi members and that the fraternity is cooperating with the police.

“There’s nothing really else I can say other than we are aware (of the situation),” he said.
Ryan Roberts, president of the Interfraternity Council, said the alleged incident is an “individual issue, not a fraternity issue.”

Campus representatives provided advice about how individuals attending social gatherings could protect themselves from dangerous situations.

Always make a plan with friends ahead of time, like designating one individual in a group to stay sober or drink less so he or she can watch out for others, said Erin Strange, violence prevention specialist for the Oasis Program.

“Be aware,” she said. “Make sure someone is coherent and available to be the eyes and ears.”

Ending sexual violence is more than just being aware of one’s surroundings, she added. Society needs to question those engaging in sexual violence, she said, and get to the bottom of why someone would choose to act in a predatory way.

Knowing where an alcoholic drink came from and monitoring consumption is another way for students at parties to protect themselves, said Sgt. Juan Alvarez, public information officer for UAPD.

“If during the night you lose your drink and later find it, don’t drink from it. Get a new one,” he said. “And if you’re underage, don’t drink at all.”

The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity was in good standing before the incident, but was on probationary status for most of 2011 after serving alcohol to minors at a party in November 2010.

— Eliza Molk contributed reporting to this article.

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