A San Diego State University disciplinary panel will begin a hearing Tuesday into allegations by a sorority member that she was raped during a fraternity party. The hearing will be closed to the public.
The five-member panel expects to hear testimony from 15 to 20 fraternity and sorority members who attended the Nov. 15 party at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, but the 18-year-old freshman who filed the complaint will not testify, university spokeswoman Sue Raney said.
The woman, who has given sworn statements to campus police and the university's student affairs division, asked to be excluded from the hearing, Raney said. The university cannot compel the woman to testify because she has withdrawn from school, Raney added.
The 18-year-old told campus police she was raped between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. in a private room at the fraternity house. In an open letter published last month in the campus newspaper, the student's mother said her daughter was unconscious for four hours at the fraternity house after drinking what she believed was non-alcoholic punch.
San Diego County Dist. Atty. Edwin Miller decided Dec. 5 not to file criminal charges in the case after concluding that his office could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a rape occurred. Campus Police Chief John Carpenter has said he believes there is enough evidence to charge three men in the case, one of them for rape.
Next week's hearing, which will be held in Tenochca Residence Hall on Montezuma Road and is expected to last two days, will involve a wide variety of administrative charges against both the fraternity and the sorority, Delta Gamma.
Pi Kappa Alpha is charged with physical abuse of a member of the campus community; lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior; obstructing the administrative investigation; hazing, and alcohol violations.
Delta Gamma sorority, which co-sponsored the "exchange party," is charged with hazing and alcohol violations. (The California Administrative Code defines hazing as causing mental or physical harm, humiliation or ridicule; compelling a person to participate in perverse or indecent activities, or impairing a person's academic efforts.)
Both organizations could be expelled from the campus, fined, suspended or put on probation. Pi Kappa Alpha remains on interim suspension pending the outcome of the hearing.
Likening the hearing to a grand jury investigation, Raney said students will be allowed to receive the advice of attorneys while testifying. However, the attorneys cannot participate in the proceeding, she said. The panel will draw conclusions and recommend disciplinary action to Michael Hoctor, the university's director of housing and residential life.