A Cornell University fraternity president is facing charges of attempted rape and sexual abuse after a female student reported that she was sexually assaulted at the fraternity house, according to university police.
Wolfgang Ballinger, 21, a member of Psi Upsilon’s Chi Chapter at Cornell who was identified as the alleged perpetrator with help from the female student, was arrested Friday, the Cornell University Police Department said. Ballinger has served as president of the chapter, Psi Upsilon Executive Director Thomas Fox told ABC News.
The young woman reported to police Sunday afternoon that she was sexually assaulted in a bedroom at the frat house at approximately 2 a.m. that day, police said.
At the request of the police through his attorney, Ballinger turned himself in to Cornell Police investigators on Thursday. He was charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, and first-degree sexual abuse, university police said.
Ballinger has entered a plea of not guilty, his attorney, James Baker, told ABC News today.
"Wolfgang Ballinger is not guilty of the charges that have been filed against him," Baker told ABC News in a statement. "His innocence will be established at the proper time and in the proper place –- which is in the courts, not in the media.
"Beyond that, we have no comment," Baker's statement said.
Cornell's Office of Fraternities, Sororities and Independent Living said, as of Feb. 1, Psi Upsilon was placed "on interim suspension status as a result of alleged sexual misconduct" at the fraternity house.
"Interim suspension is a pause in the operations of a chapter during which the chapter may not engage in any activities other than operation of its residence," the statement said.
Psi Upsilon Fraternity's national organization said Friday that all activity at the Cornell chapter is suspended and the fraternity is cooperating with Cornell University during its investigation. Fraternity staff members are also traveling to Ithaca to help.
"Sexual assault, and any form of sexual harassment, is against our policy and in opposition of the values of Psi Upsilon," Fox said. "Our chapter is cooperating with Cornell's investigation into this matter and any members involved will be held accountable. The Chi Chapter at Cornell has a distinguished history with the University and we are committed to continuing to be a benefit to Cornell and the Ithaca Community."
Cornell University President Elizabeth Garrett said in a statement: "I am deeply disturbed by the allegations of sexual assault involving the president of Psi Upsilon. Sexual violence has no place at Cornell, and if these allegations are substantiated, those involved will be held accountable."
"When we were notified of these allegations on Monday, February 1, Psi Upsilon was immediately placed on interim suspension pending the conclusion of a full investigation," Garrett said. "Although I applaud the swift actions of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) to mandate additional training for its members, we will be considering what additional steps should be taken to ensure the Greek community at Cornell is living up to our institutional standard of excellence and respect for others."
Ballinger was arraigned in Ithaca City Court and was remanded to the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond, Cornell police said. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. in Ithaca City Court.