Ex-president of suspended frat to stand trial in sex assault
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia judge Thursday ordered the former president of a suspended fraternity at Temple University to stand trial on sexual assault charges.
After a preliminary hearing where his accuser testified Thursday, Ari Goldstein was ordered to stand trial on attempted sexual assault, attempted rape, simple assault and other charges. One charge of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse was dismissed, and a formal arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 2.
Temple University officials suspended Alpha Epsilon Pi in April after at least three women alleged they were sexually assaulted at the fraternity house. The reports also included allegations of underage drinking and drug use.
The charges against Goldstein, 21, stem from allegations made by one woman who said she attended a party at the fraternity house earlier this year.
The woman testified Thursday that Goldstein locked her in a room at the fraternity house after offering to smoke marijuana with her. He then groped her and tried to force her to perform oral sex, she said.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
Goldstein’s attorney, Perry de Marco Sr. said after the hearing that his client had not committed a crime. He called the allegations, “Me Too gone wild.”
Goldstein was arrested in May as he was set to leave the country on a scheduled trip to Israel. His bail was set at $2 million at the request of the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, which had originally asked for a higher bond amount.
Ben Waxman, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said the judge agreed with prosecutors that the charges were substantiated.
“We would not have brought the charges if we were not confident in the case,” he said. “Mr. de Marco can make whatever allegations he wants, but this is a district attorney’s office that follows the facts. We feel that there is absolutely enough evidence to move forward to trial.”
Waxman said he could not comment on whether any additional charges would be filed against other members of the fraternity related to the sexual assault allegations made by the other women. He said it is an ongoing investigation.