USM police investigate alleged sexual assault at Kappa Sig house
University police are investigating an alleged sexual assault earlier this month at the Kappa Sigma Fraternity house on the Southern Miss campus.
University Police Chief Bob Hopkins says the victim claimed the assault took place on October 13 in the Kappa Sigma House on fraternity row on the Southern Miss campus during early morning hours.
A police report was filed by the victim on October 15. Hopkins told 7 on your Side the suspect is either a freshman or sophomore male member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. The female victim is an eighteen-year-old freshman.
Hopkins said the incident was an acquaintance assault and that alcohol was not a factor in the incident. A rape kit was not performed due to the length of time between the incident and the time the report was filed.
"We met with the victim at length to talk about our findings and talked about what direction she would like to continue. As a result of that at her wishes we are putting together a case that we will present to the Forrest county district attorney's office for presentation to the Forrest County Grand Jury," Hopkins said.
USM President Rodney Bennett said disciplinary action will be taken if the accused is found guilty.
"The case is being investigated and so there are some things this morning that I'm not yet able to comment on, but I will tell you that any allegation of sexual misconduct or violence or rape is a serious offense and one that the university will look at and take appropriate action that needs to be taken," Bennett said.
Chief Hopkins says they have forwarded the results to the proper authorities at school so they can decide what disciplinary action the accused could receive from the university. He says members of Kappa Sigma fraternity are being cooperative.
"We had cooperation from everybody, including the Kappa Sigs. As a result from the interview with the victim, there is no issue with us regarding the fraternity itself. It's just unfortunate that the incident occurred in one of their members' rooms," Hopkins said.
This is not the first time the Kappa Sigma chapter at USM has been under fire for misconduct.
In 2008, USM officials revoked the Kappa Sigma Fraternity the Kappa Sigma Fraternity as a part of the University's Greek system. That incident landed two female students in the hospital for alcohol poisoning who were part of a little sister initiation party. The fraternity was re colonized on campus in 2011.
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