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USC Places Sigma Nu Fraternity On Interim Suspension After Reports Of 'Possible Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assaults,' Students Protest In Support Of Victims

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Officials at the University of Southern California sent out an alert to staff regarding sexual assaults at the Sigma Nu fraternity house located in the 600 block of W. 28th Street.

According to the email sent to USC staff, and obtained by CBSLA, the university has received reports of drugs being placed into drinks during a party at the same fraternity house, leading to possible drug-facilitated sexual assaults.

Students gathered Thursday and Friday night outside the Sigma Nu frat house on fraternity row leaving signs and letters in support of the victim. Some students place the blame on USC. Students said the incident marked a pattern of sexual violence against women. Seven reports were filed with campus police this week, alleging crimes at the fraternity house. One woman reported she was sexually assaulted and multiple others said they were drugged.

Police on Friday named the suspect as Ryan Schiffilea, who has not yet been arrested or charged.

"I want this to stop. It happens all the time and nothing is done about it," said Sophie Beitel, a sophomore at USC. "I don't think the university cares enough to do anything about it until people force them to."

The Sigma Nu fraternity has been put on interim suspension and, according to the email, "...may not host or organize any activities, social or otherwise, and no parties or other social gatherings may take place at the Sigma Nu house."

The university released a statement Thursday evening, saying:

"USC takes reports of sexual assault extremely seriously and has a coordinated response team designed to promptly respond. The university provides for a fair, thorough and timely resolution process. We are deeply concerned when any student experiences any kind of trauma, and we offer both private and confidential support resources, as well as supportive measures, to involved parties. While we are unable to discuss the specifics of this matter due to student privacy laws, we are unequivocal in our commitment to fostering a safe environment for all of our students, faculty and staff."

Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., based in Lexington, Virginia, released a statement Thursday evening, reading:

"Sigma Nu Fraternity received notice earlier today from the University of Southern California of the Interim Protective Measure and interim suspension action taken by the University related to information received by the University alleging violations and misconduct related to the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity at the University. The Fraternity is concerned by these serious allegations and will seek to work with University officials to investigate the matter. The Fraternity will determine its further actions based upon the investigation. Sigma Nu Fraternity remains committed to responding appropriately to all matters of confirmed misconduct."

The university also said it reported the information to the Los Angeles Police Department, and encouraged anyone with information about the alleged crimes to call the USC Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-6000 for the University Park Campus (UPC), (323) 442-1000 for the Health Sciences Campus (HSC) or (213) 485-6571 for the LAPD Southwest Division.

USC's Title IX office can be contacted at If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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