Local News

No criminal charges to be filed in Duke fraternity rape investigation

Posted July 2, 2015 4:14 p.m. EDT
Updated July 2, 2015 10:21 p.m. EDT

— Durham District Attorney Roger Echols said Thursday his office will not file criminal charges against members of a Duke University fraternity accused in a sexual assault that allegedly happened at an off-campus party in January.

Echols said he made the decision not to pursue an indictment against members of Alpha Delta Phi after an “extensive and thorough” investigation that including witness interviews, forensic examinations and consultations with experts.

“The nature of the conduct investigated and of the alleged offenses investigated is personal and sensitive,” Echols said in a statement. “It is with respect for the sensitive subject matter and the complaining witness that I will not release more details of the investigation to the public.”

A female Duke student told authorities that she was at a party Jan. 8 at 2505 Chapel Hill Road – a house leased by Alpha Delta Phi members – when she had a mixed drink and later had what she thought was hot chocolate.

She told police she refused a fraternity member when he allegedly led her to his upstairs room prior to her second drink, and the last thing she remembered clearly was dancing with friends.

According to search warrants, she told police she had vague recollections of being led next door, seeing people sitting in a living room and going into a bedroom with a poster of rapper Drake on the wall. She remembered telling a fraternity member, “Let’s go back to the party,” but doesn’t remember walking back, the warrants state.

When she awoke the next afternoon, the woman told police, the leggings she had been wearing were on the floor next to the bed and appeared to be torn.

“Although this is a very difficult decision to accept by the complaining witness, who has been extremely cooperative with the Durham Police Department and the Office of the District Attorney, this is the appropriate decision given the available evidence and the applicable law,” Echols said.

The fraternity was suspended from the university pending the outcome of the investigation. The organization could not be immediately reached for comment.