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Police Investigate Attempted Sexual Assault At Wesleyan


Police are investigating an attempted sexual assault on the Wesleyan University campus Sunday.

The victim was assaulted at 184 High St. – the house of the Mu Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity – and was able to fend off the attacker and escape, police said. The victim was treated at Middlesex Hospital for injuries from the assault, police said.

Police received the report around 3 a.m., and said they are pursuing leads in the investigation.

The fraternity chapter has acknowledged the allegations of assault and said they are cooperating with police in the investigation.

Anyone with any further information is asked to contact police at 860-344-3200.

Attempted Sex Assault Reported at Wesleyan Fraternity House

Police are investigating an assault and attempted sexual assault at a fraternity house at Wesleyan University.

Middletown police said the assault allegedly occurred at 184 High Street in Middletown early Sunday morning and the victim was able to fend off the attacker and flee.

The victim was treated at Middlesex Hospital for injuries received during the attack and reported the attack at 3 a.m.

The house, 184 High Street, is the Beta Theta Pi House, according to the City of Middletown Department of Planning, Conservation and Development Web site and the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity Web site.

The Wesleyan Argus reports that David Meyer, the public safety director at Wesleyan, said non-Beta brothers were among the people at the party on Saturday night and that the fraternity is cooperating with the investigation.

“The members of Beta Theta Pi share the campus’ outrage at the allegation of an attempted sexual assault at our chapter house early Sunday morning. We are cooperating with the University and the Middletown Police Department as they seek to identify the alleged attacker, and will continue to help the authorities in every way if and when he is found and arrested,” Elliot Albert, president of the fraternity, wrote in a statement.

The Special Investigative Services Unit is investigating, police said and detectives are pursuing several leads.

Courthouse News Service reports that a former Wesleyan University student who reported being sexually assaulted at a Beta Theta Pi house filed a lawsuit against the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, the Mu Epsilon chapter. the landlord and manager of the Beta House, and Wesleyan University.

“Beta House has a long-documented history of dangerous misconduct, student injuries and numerous sexual assaults of women, resulting in Beta and Mu Epsilon losing recognition from Wesleyan as a student organization and gaining the reputation in the Wesleyan community as the ‘Rape Factory’,” Courhouse News Service reports, citing the complaint.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Middletown Police Department at 860-344-3200.

The full statement from Beta is posted below:

“The members of Beta Theta Pi share the campus’ outrage at the allegation of an attempted sexual assault at our chapter house early Sunday morning. We are cooperating with the University and the Middletown Police Department as they seek to identify the alleged attacker, and will continue to help the authorities in every way if and when he is found and arrested. Events such as this compromise the sense of safety and security that we as members of a campus community deserve, and we have zero tolerance for such actions. Unfortunately, sexual assault at Wesleyan remains a problem, and we share the belief that sexual assault, like any kind of assault, is problematic and utterly unacceptable. That our house became the location of this unfortunate and intolerable crime is a powerful reminder to the entire Wesleyan community that we collectively need to do a better job at raising awareness and prevention of these type of events. Beta Theta Pi plans to strengthen our partnership with Wesleyan’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and we will continue to plan programs for our members such as last semester’s WESpeak-WEStand Bystander Intervention program, which aimed to create a campus that is actively engaged in the prevention of sexual assault. We all need to do our part in creating the safer community we deserve. Our thoughts, prayers, and solidarity are with the survivor.”

Former Owner Of Plainfield Production Company Charged With Sex Assault, Child Porn Possession


The former owner of a production company that performed at school dances all over New England has been charged with sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

James M. Holmes, 29, was arrested Wednesday morning after what police called a lengthy investigation relating to child pornography and sexual assault involving more than one child.

He is charged with two counts each of second-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and illegal sexual contact, police said. Holmes is also charged with possession of child pornography and employing a minor in an obscene performance, police said.

In April 2012, police from Plainfield, with the help of officers from Holbrook, Mass., searched the address of Holmes’ company J Productions at 54 Oakwood Blvd. No one was charged at the time, but police applied for an arrest warrant for one person. Plainfield Police Chief Michael G. Suprenant said at the time of the search that one child under 16 was assaulted at a number of locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The company provides DJ and lighting services for proms, weddings, school dances and other events, according to its website.

Holmes, who now lives in Middleboro, Mass., was held with bail set at $200,000 and was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Arrest Warrant Details Miss Porter’s Sexual Assault Case


The warrant for the arrest of a former Miss Porter’s School physics teacher and coach outlines allegations of repeated sexual liaisons between the teacher and a student who has since graduated.

But police continue to investigate the case, and say more charges are possible. Farmington police Det. Susan DiVenere interviewed six current and former Miss Porter’s students about inappropriate conduct they claim they experienced with Joseph Rajkumar, 42, who was charged last month with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Rajkumar posted $500,000 bail. He appeared briefly at Superior Court in Hartford on Tuesday.

Rajkumar worked at Miss Porter’s from August 2009 until March 4. Farmington police opened their investigation March 6, after a Miss Porter’s guidance counselor notified the state Department of Children and Families of sexually inappropriate conversations between Rajkumar and five students, police said. The guidance counselor learned of the messages and immediately contacted DCF, police said.

Farmington police praised Miss Porter’s for its quick reporting of the suspicious conduct, its cooperation with the police investigation and its focus on getting students any counseling or other help they need.

The school has a zero tolerance policy and fired Rajkumar as soon as staff learned of the messages, Farmington police Chief Paul Melanson said. The school then immediately contacted DCF, as required by law.

The student Rajkumar is accused of sexually assaulting is now in college and disclosed the alleged contact with Rajkumar to her boyfriend. The boyfriend contacted local police, who interviewed the young woman and contacted Farmington police on March 20.

The student told police her relationship with Rajkumar began when she was 15 and consisted of what police described as inappropriate attention. It became sexual when she was 17, according to the warrant.

Although the age of consent in Connecticut is 16, state law makes it illegal for a school employee to engage in sexual conduct with a student.

The woman told police she would talk to Rajkumar about stress during school, especially when big tests were coming up. “He would give her a hug and ‘pull me in really close, feeling me a little,’” according to the warrant. “She explained that he would rub his hand up and down her back.”

The girl acknowledged that she thought Rajkumar’s attention was “exciting” and that “she went along with it.” In the meantime, Rajkumar urged her to create a fictitious email account. During the summer, the student told police, she and Rajkumar exchanged sexual videos.

Eventually, they began having sexual contact that progressed from “making out” to groping to sexual intercourse, the warrant says. They had intercourse in the back closet of Rajkumar’s classroom in the Olin building at Miss Porter’s, the student told police.

After the woman graduated, she did not hear from Rajkumar and was confused about their relationship, the warrant says. She said she was afraid to report what happened out of fear Miss Porter’s would take away her diploma, which would cause her to have to leave college.

On March 7, according to the warrant, Rajkumar went to the Farmington Police Department to talk with DiVenere about the investigation. He admitted that he communicated with current students through a Gmail account with the fake name Terry Olson, and described the emails as “not appropriate,” the warrant says.

DiVenere found emails between Rajkumar and the student that were sexual in nature, although Rajkumar claimed all such emails were after she graduated and was in college, the warrant says. When DiVenere noted that the dates on the emails did not back up that claim, he began to cry and repeatedly apologized, the warrant says.

On March 21, Rajkumar voluntarily went to the police station to talk to DiVenere again about the case, and acknowledged a sexual relationship with the student during her senior year, but then left the police station because he said he wanted to confess to his wife before saying more, the warrant says.

He returned a short time later and provided a written statement to DiVenere in which he admitted to the relationship, and wrote “I am very sorry and embarrassed to report this. I know this is my fault. I am sorry to have hurt the youngster in this process,” according to the warrant.

The relationship, he said, began in the fall. “We would talk about attraction towards each other,” he said, according to the warrant. He described how the sexual contact evolved to the point where they were having intercourse as often as twice a week in his classroom closet.

The student provided more information to police about what occurred and her age at the time. She also described the progression in the warrant: “I do not know what exactly Joseph Rajkumar has said, but the short story (that even he cannot deny) is that he used me for sex and made me believe that it was OK.”

Wesleyan Failed to Protect Woman From Assault

Federal Lawsuit Says Wesleyan Failed To Protect Woman From Assault At Fraternity House Called A ‘Rape Factory’
Former Student’s Lawsuit Names University, Fraternity, Property Owner As Defendants
October 05, 2012 | By ALAINE GRIFFIN,, The Hartford Courant

MIDDLETOWN — A former Wesleyan University student who was assaulted two years ago during a Halloween fraternity party filed a federal lawsuit Friday accusing the school of failing to protect her from dangers at the fraternity, which she claims was known on campus as the “Rape Factory.”

The 27-page lawsuit, filed electronically Friday at U.S. District Court in Connecticut by a Maryland woman identified as “Jane Doe,” charges Wesleyan with violating Title IX, the federal gender-equity law, by failing “to supervise, discipline, warn or take other corrective action” against the Mu Epsilon chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, actions that it says could have prevented the assault. The lawsuit says the student was raped.

Jane Doe, after reporting the incident, became a target of those who protested a recommendation by Wesleyan officials that students avoid the fraternity, the lawsuit says. They chanted “Free Beta” outside her dorm and other places she was at on campus, according to the lawsuit.

“Wesleyan did nothing to prevent, and was deliberately indifferent to the harm caused to Jane Doe by the rape and outrageous sexual harassment and intimidation that followed her everywhere on campus,” the lawsuit says.

The school, it says, “acted with deliberate indifference towards the rights of Jane Doe and other female students to a safe and secure education environment thus materially impairing Jane Doe’s ability to pursue her education at Wesleyan in violation of the requirements of Title IX.”

In the lawsuit, Beta Theta Pi is depicted as a troubled place with “a long-documented history of dangerous misconduct, student injuries and numerous sexual assaults of women.” The lawsuit says the chapter lost its recognition from Wesleyan as a student organization in 2005 and instead gained “the reputation in the Wesleyan community as the ‘Rape Factory.'”

The lawsuit says that Wesleyan warned students in an email in March 2010 to stay away from the fraternity, saying that the school “could not ensure students’ safety on the premises.”

Jane Doe, a freshman in the fall of 2010, was unaware of that warning from seven months earlier and went to the frat house’s Halloween party on Oct. 30, 2010, and was raped in a locked room, the lawsuit says.

She charges in the lawsuit that she told the resident assistant in her dorm about the assault the next day, Oct. 31, but that the resident assistant did not call police, campus safety officials or school administrators.

Jane Doe was unable to officially report the assault until Nov. 1, 2010, because the student health services were closed on Oct. 31, 2010, which was a Sunday, the suit said.

“Wesleyan advised that she could go to the hospital, but offered neither transportation or accompaniment,” the lawsuit says. “Wesleyan did not contact its rape counselor … offer any other services or other academic help” to Jane Doe.

According to the lawsuit, following Jane Doe’s reporting of the incident to Wesleyan, school officials again advised in a campuswide email that students stay away from the frat house. In early 2011, the school terminated the fraternity’s status as program housing. Eventually, Jane Doe’s identity became known on campus and those angry about the ban on the fraternity staged protests at the woman’s dorm and at other places on campus, the suit says.

“The protests led to Wesleyan’s revocation of the policy. A reconciliation meeting with student protestors and administrators was held at the Beta House,” the lawsuit states.

The woman — described in the lawsuit as “an exceptional student” in math, science and music “before the rape” — secluded herself and hid in her room, missing classes and meals, the lawsuit says.

She eventually withdrew from Wesleyan and transferred to another school, said Timothy O’Keefe, of Kenny, O’Keefe & Usseglio of Hartford, who represents the woman along with Douglas Fierberg of Bode & Grenier in Washington, D.C.

“These are, obviously, serious allegations of negligence against the college and the fraternity defendants. We intend to prove that they are all legally responsible for the harms that this young woman has suffered,” O’Keefe said in an interview Friday. “The harms and legal damages that this young woman suffered were preventable.”

The man accused of the assault, John O’Neill of Yorktown, N.Y., was not a Wesleyan student and was “a guest of a Beta member” that weekend, according to the lawsuit. He was originally charged with first-degree sexual assault, according to a Courant news report. He is currently serving a 15-month prison sentence at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers after pleading no contest in June to charges of third-degree assault and first-degree unlawful restraint.

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