Drexel mistakenly lists frat sex assault cases as closed

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Investigations into two recent cases of alleged sexual assault at a Drexel University fraternity house were incorrectly listed as closed on the school’s website this week, then were officially reactivated after an inquiry Friday from the Inquirer and Daily News.

The university sent out a public safety advisory to the campus Friday that said Drexel Police and the school’s Office of Equality and Diversity were probing allegations of two sexual assaults at Tau Kappa Epsilon, on the 3400 block of Powelton Avenue, between April 28 and May 4. The allegations were reported by local news media Monday.

Drexel declined to detail the nature of the allegations or the status of those allegedly involved, but the school said that Tau Kappa Epsilon has been placed on interim suspension during the investigation.

An email sent Tuesday to the Tau Kappa Epsilon brothers and alumni from alumni leadership, which was provided to the Inquirer and Daily News, said the cases had been closed and provided a link to Drexel’s crime log from March 7 to May 7.

The log listed the disposition of both cases alleged to have taken place at Tau Kappa Epsilon as “CLOSED.”

According to the log, the first case, listed as an alleged forcible rape, was reported April 28. The second case, which is listed as an alleged rape by a known acquaintance, was reported May 4.

Niki Gianakaris, executive director of media relations for Drexel, declined to answer questions about the cases or say why they were listed as closed. Instead, she sent an emailed statement Friday:

“The cases were marked as closed on the Drexel Police crime log because there is no active investigation by Drexel Police,” she wrote. “The crime logs have been updated to state the investigation is pending under the Office of Equality and Diversity and the Philadelphia Police Department.”

But according to a Philadelphia police spokeswoman, the department’s Special Victims Unit is investigating just one of the allegations. The other, according to Drexel’s now-updated crime log, is being investigated by the school’s Office of Equality and Diversity.

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