2 Alleged Sexual Assaults Reported at Iowa State University

PHOTO: Memorial Union on the Iowa State University campus is shown in this undated file photo.Getty Images
Memorial Union on the Iowa State University campus is shown in this undated file photo.

Investigations are under way after two sexual assault reports at Iowa State University this week -- one at a fraternity party and one at a residence hall.

Two sexual assault cases in the same week is "more coincidence than anything," said John McCarroll, Executive Director of Iowa State's Office of University Relations.

The first alleged assault took place at a Sigma Alpha Epsilon party the night of Jan. 16, Jason Tuttle of the Ames Police Department told ABC News today. The next day, the victim reported the assault and went to the hospital, police said. Her condition was unknown.

The same day, officers collected evidence at the fraternity house. Tuttle said he cannot release what was specifically collected at the house, "but generally" police collect "bedding, anything that could contain DNA, underwear, condoms, anything that could corroborate the story the victim told us."

Authorities are continuing to interview witnesses and analyze evidence, Tuttle said.

The second alleged sexual assault, on Monday at a residence hall, was allegedly perpetrated by an acquaintance of the victim, according to University Relations. The alleged victim then reported the assault on Friday, University Relations said, and the report remains under investigation.

News of the alleged assaults hit campus Friday, when Iowa State sent two Clery Act email alerts to students, faculty and staff.

The Clery Act "requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses, including timely warnings of crimes that may represent a threat to the safety of students or employees," the email alert said.

"Just reading that it kind made me afraid a little bit," student Maria Alcvivar said to We Are Iowa. about the email alert. "It's still upsetting, because you know nobody deserves to go through anything like that."

In 2014, Iowa State issued five Clery Act notifications, McCarroll said, adding that not all five notifications were sexual assault reports.

"I don't recall that we've had two Clery Act notifications go out this close together," McCarroll said.

Natasha Oren, a campus advocate against sexual abuse, told We Are Iowa, "Sometimes an increase in reporting rates actually means that people are starting to realize, hey, there are people in our community who care."

SAE at Iowa State has suspended the member named in the alleged assault, the SAE associate executive director of communications Brandon Weghorst told ABC News today.

"Any form of assault or sexual misconduct by anyone is unacceptable, and we will not tolerate actions that are inconsistent with our values," he said. "The individual behavior of any member that deviates from our beliefs does not and should not reflect on other members, other chapters or other fraternity men."

Weghorst said Sigma Alpha Epsilon "will not hesitate to take corrective actions or impose sanctions on any member or chapter that fails to follow the stringent guidelines we set forth in our comprehensive health-and-safety program. Similarly, we continue to work with our chapter at Iowa State University and its strong alumni advisory board to make sure that brothers meet or exceed our guidelines set forth at the national level."

Calls to the Iowa State SAE chapter and the Iowa State Greek life office were not immediately returned.