Home / National News / Cornell Fraternity President, Accused of Sex Crime, Remains in Prison


(ITHACA, N.Y.) — A Cornell University fraternity member 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.

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’s attorney, Jim Baker, could not be immediately reached by ABC News for comment.

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,” Executive Director Thomas 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.”

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. It is not known if he has entered a plea. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. in Ithaca City Court.

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