Vandals hit UVA frat house linked to gang rape

Fraternity has voluntarily suspended its charter and activities during investigation.
By Mary Papenfuss  |  Updated Nov. 21, 2014 at 4:17 AM
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- A fraternity house at the University of Virginia was hit by vandals a day after the Rolling Stone published accusations of gang rape there in a report the state's governor called "deeply disturbing."

Several windows were broken with bottles or cinder blocks, and messages spray-painted on the facade of Phi Kappa Psi.

The Rolling Stone article detailed an assault in which several frat members allegedly took turns pinning down and raping a female guest at a party. A spokesman for the fraternity's national chapter said the frat is fully cooperating with the university and police investigation into the two-year-old incident. The article also detailed other accusations of sex assaults at the frat house.

The fraternity voluntarily surrendered its Fraternal Organization Agreement with the university Thursday and suspended all activities.

"This is a serious matter for the criminal justice system and the university investigative process and we will cooperate quickly, openly and honestly in any forthcoming investigation that may be conducted," said a statement from the Virginia chapter.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he was "deeply disturbed" by the article regarding the attack.

"I have called for a zero tolerance strategy to combat campus sexual assault. I have asked university officials to conduct a full review of all of their policies and procedures and if decided, to bring in outside experts to assist in this effort," he said.

Phi Kappa Psi made UVA gang-rape history following a 1984 attack which involved three men attacking a 17-year-old freshman. One of them confessed to aggravated sexual battery 22 years later. A Facebook campaign and petition drive have been launched to shut down the fraternity.

UVA is one of 12 schools undergoing "compliance reviews" by the federal Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights because of "serious concerns" about several issues, including accusations of sex assaults.

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