A student at the University of Minnesota reported that he was raped by a fellow classmate when pledging the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.
The Star Tribune reports:
The victim, who was pledging Alpha Epsilon Pi at the time of the assault, told police that he was raped by one of the fraternity’s members on Jan. 29 at the Marshall Apartments, an off-campus student housing complex in Dinkytown. The victim later went to a nearby hospital, where he underwent a rape exam, according to a search warrant affidavit.
What started out as consensual encounter between the two men swiftly took a frightening turn, the victim told police, according to court filings.
The suspect reportedly also “threatened to document the sexual encounter,” the filings said, “by photos and video that he could use to blackmail [the victim] into silence about the assault.” It was unclear whether the suspect actually filmed or photographed the encounter.
Next, the victim was harassed on Snapchat by the alleged raper. He was warned not to tell his story to anybody including other fraternity members.
Fraternities have long been breeding grounds for brutal hazing rituals, toxic masculinity and non-consensual sex. The portrayal of this has begun to pop up more and more in films, shedding light on the important issue. The most recent example of this was Goat, a piercing depiction of frat life that played Sundance 2016 and hit theaters last fall.
This year, Sundance hosted another tough and brutally honest drama about pledging and hazing, this time set on the campus of a (fictional) historical black college. Picked up by Netflix, Burning Sands was written and directed by Gerard McMurray who’s a member of Omega Psi Phi. He hopes to shed important light on HBCUs, Greek organizations and the epidemic of hazing. The cast includes Trevor Jackson, Alfre Woodard, Steve Harris, Tosin Cole, DeRon Horton and Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes.
The suspect in the very real case at the University of Minnesota is a first-year student who was suspended from the fraternity. The investigation is continuing. As of publication, he has not been charged.
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