Fourth Rape Reported at University of Texas at Arlington

Attack not believed to be related to earlier assaults reported at fraternity house; chapter ordered to "cease and desist operations"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The national Sigma Phi Epsilon organization has told its University of Texas at Arlington chapter to "cease and desist operations." Three sexual assaults have been reported at the fraternity's house. A sexual assault reported at a UTA building this weekend is believed to be related to the fraternity. (Published Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013)

    Less than a month into the fall semester, University of Texas at Arlington police are investigating four sexual assaults, including three at a fraternity house.

    The latest incident was reported to police on Saturday at the Life Science building in the heart of campus.

    UTA Police Investigate 4th Sex Assault

    [DFW] UTA Police Investigate 4th Sex Assault
    Another report of a rape has been received by police at the University of Texas at Arlington. The latest report, the fourth since the fall semester began, was made on Sept. 14. (Published Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013)

    Police have released few details about the attack, but it is not believed to be related to three sexual assaults reported in late August and early September. Those incidents -- Aug. 23, Aug. 24 and Sept. 7 -- reportedly occurred at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house.

    The fraternity's national office said in a statement Tuesday that it has ordered the UTA chapter "to cease and desist operations." The national fraternity said it is assisting in the investigation and that a representative from its office visited with UTA administration Tuesday.

    The national office also said it would "bring additional sanctions against any member whose conduct is determined to be inconsistent with the fraternity's values or Texas state law."

    UTA issued an interim suspension to a male student in connection with the Sept. 7 report. The university also placed five fraternity chapters on interim suspension while it investigates allegations of alcohol abuse by students younger than 21 and other violations of university policies and procedures.

    The university investigations are separate from the police investigations into the sexual assault allegations, UTA spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan said.

    Students said they were shocked to hear that a fourth sexual assault had been reported.

    "It kind of makes you wonder what happened, if it could have been avoided, what the university can do to prevent those kind of things," senior Helen Moyo said.

    Some students said they had not heard about the most recent attack.

    "That's really unsettling and kind of terrifying," Moyo said.

    Sophomore Hannah Summers said it is making her think about what she does to be safe.

    "I guess I'll make sure to be more careful, like where I park and if I park under a light where it's darker," Summers said.

    In an email, Sullivan said that UTA is committed to ensuring a healthy, safe and secure environment.

    "In addition to the investigations, the university is conducting a broad assessment of its policies, operations and compliance related to Greek organizations," she said.

    NBC 5's Mola Lenghi contributed to this report.