Ex-president of suspended frat charged in attempted rape
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The former president of a suspended fraternity at Temple University has been charged with attempted rape as part of a wider investigation into allegations of sex assaults at the fraternity house.
Ari Goldstein, 21, was arraigned Wednesday in Philadelphia on eight charges that also include intimidation, unlawful restraint and attempted sexual assault. He was being held on $2 million bail.
Goldstein denies the charges, his lawyer said.
Temple suspended the campus chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity last month after at least three women alleged they were sexually assaulted at the fraternity house. The reports also include allegations of underage drinking and drug use.
The charges against Goldstein stem from allegations made by one victim, said Ben Waxman, a spokesman for the district attorney. He said the investigation is ongoing and declined to comment on whether more arrests were possible or to discuss details of the allegations.
Attorney Perry de Marco Sr., who represents Goldstein, said the bail amount is “shocking” for the engineering student who will be a senior next year. De Marco said he has tried to talk with investigators, who either declined to discuss the allegations or did not return messages.
He said Goldstein was scheduled to go on a trip to Israel on Mother’s Day, and he advised his client to go since police had not notified him of any charges at that time. He said authorities arrested Goldstein at the airport in Boston as he was boarding a plane after issuing the warrant on Mother’s Day.
“I had contacted them, and if they had extended me that courtesy of notifying us, he never would have gotten on the ... airplane. They made him a flight risk,” De Marco said. “The trip had been booked and planned for months.”
Court documents available Thursday did not describe the exact allegations against Goldstein, only the charges.
De Marco said the allegations read in court involved a woman who had been alone with his client on the third floor of the fraternity house. He said the woman alleges Goldstein tried to fondle her, kneeled on her leg causing a bruise and tried to force her to perform oral sex.
Temple police last month said a 19-year-old reported in April being assaulted by a member at the fraternity house in February. Another 19-year-old student in April reported attending a party in March at the house, where she was given several drinks, became dizzy, lost consciousness and woke up in bed with a fraternity member. She told authorities she felt she’d been sexually assaulted.
A third student approached Temple police with a similar story.
The Temple Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter said in an Instagram post shortly after the suspension announcement that it was appalled by the allegations, which are “against everything that we stand for.”