(ITHACA, N.Y.) — A Cornell University fraternity president accused of attempted rape and sexual abuse was released from custody Tuesday, but a Cornell representative told ABC News the student is not allowed on campus, where he lives.
Wolfgang Ballinger, 21, a member of Psi Upsilon’s Chi Chapter at Cornell, did not appear in court Tuesday. No evidence was presented. A grand jury is set to decide whether to indict him.
Ballinger was charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree sexual abuse, university police said.
Ballinger has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
He was booked into Tompkins County, New York, Jail on Thursday after a female student reported that she was sexually assaulted at the fraternity house, according to university police. Ballinger has served as president of the chapter, Psi Upsilon Executive Director Thomas Fox told ABC News.
The young woman, who is not being identified, reported the alleged incident to police on Jan. 31, telling authorities she was sexually assaulted in a bedroom at the frat house at about 2 a.m. that day. She helped identify Ballinger as the alleged perpetrator, the Cornell University Police Department said.
At the request of the police through his attorney, Ballinger turned himself in to Cornell University Police investigators Thursday. Ballinger was booked at the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond, Cornell University Police said.
Ballinger’s attorney, James Baker, told ABC News in a statement Saturday that Ballinger did not commit the crimes of which he is accused. “His innocence will be established at the proper time and in the proper place, which is in the courts, not in the media,” Baker 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,” Psi Upsilon’s Executive Director 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.”
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