Former AEPi President Faces New Rape Charges

0
The AEPi fraternity building where the alleged sexual assaults took place. | Google Maps Street View screenshot

Ari Goldstein, the former president of Temple University’s suspended Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) chapter, now faces a new set of sexual assault charges.

Goldstein is charged with rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, unlawful restraint, sexual assault, false imprisonment, indecent assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, stemming from a Nov. 29 incident.

The preliminary hearing is set for later this month.


These charges are separate from the attempted rape and attempted sexual assault charges that come from a Feb. 25 incident with a different woman. In a preliminary hearing last month, the 19-year-old complainant in that case testified in court, and alleged that Goldstein tried to force her to perform a sex act on him.

Goldstein was arrested on the new charges on Aug. 7. His bail was set at $1.5 million and posted the next day.

“This arrest shows that the Philadelphia DA’s Office is serious about pursuing charges against individuals who engage in this kind of troubling behavior,” said Benjamin Waxman, director of communications for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. “We look forward to presenting our case in court.”

Ari Goldstein | Photo provided

An affidavit of probable cause states that the new complainant, a 21-year-old woman, went to the AEPi fraternity house at approximately 2 a.m. on Nov. 29 after being invited by Goldstein, with whom she had a previous sexual relationship.

She went to Goldstein’s room, where the two began to have intercourse, but it became aggressive. The complainant said she asked Goldstein to stop, tried repeatedly to pull away and began to cry. She alleges he also forced her to perform a sex act on him. She eventually was able to push herself away and run out of the room. She said Goldstein apologized as she left.

According to the affidavit, Goldstein texted her the next day, stating in part, “Hey I know what happened last [night] was wrong of me. I was really blacked out, but that’s not an excuse for what happened. I’m really sorry and would never intentionally do anything to hurt you. You’re one of my good friends. I understand if you never want to talk to me again, but again I’m just really sorry.”

The affidavit mentions three witnesses, who allege the complainant told them about the incident. One witness said the complainant showed her bruises on her chest and collarbone, which the complainant said were inflicted by Goldstein.

“We will fervently represent Mr. Goldstein in this case,” said Perry de Marco Sr., Goldstein’s defense attorney. “We believe that the evidence will show in this case that Goldstein had an intensive sexual relationship with this young lady. On the night that was the subject of this case, she is making an allegation that he did something improper.”

De Marco noted that the complainant continued to attend events at the fraternity house after the alleged assault took place, despite knowing she might run into Goldstein.

“He’s no different than any other 21-year-old college kid,” de Marco said. “We are confident that justice will prevail in both of these cases.”

Temple University said Goldstein is not currently enrolled.

On April 20, Temple University Police issued a notice saying that the university had received several credible reports of underage drinking, excessive use of alcohol, possible drug use and sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, at AEPi. This led to the university’s decision to suspend the fraternity chapter.

According to multiple news reports then, investigators were looking into sexual assault allegations at AEPi made by at least three women.

Waxman said he couldn’t comment on whether these two complainants are two of those women or whether more charges will be brought stemming from other alleged incidents at AEPi.

The day after Goldstein was arrested on this second set of charges, AEPi held the first day of its annual international convention in Phoenix.

Across the country, chapters of the fraternity, such as those at the College of Charleston, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Vanderbilt University, have faced past allegations of sexual assault. Additional chapters have faced disciplinary measures for hazing and underage drinking.

Though AEPi’s policies against sexual harassment and assault have not changed, AEPi is looking into how to better communicate those policies, said Jonathan Pierce, a past international president of the AEPi fraternity and its media spokesman.

Pierce said this year’s annual convention included speakers to address some of these problems.

“We have implemented new required online training for all new members to make sure they understand the policies,” he said in an Aug. 7 email. “I’m currently working from AEPi’s 105th International Convention and we have brought in several innovative and compelling speakers to discuss issues of harassment, abuse and assault with the hundreds of undergraduate brothers in attendance here.”

szighelboim@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0729

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here