Split Verdict in Sexual Assault Trial of Ex-Temple University Fraternity President
The fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, was suspended in April 2018 after at least three women said they were sexually assaulted at the house.
The former president of a Temple University fraternity has been found guilty of several assault charges related to one incident and not guilty of other charges in a separate incident.
After six hours of deliberations over two days, a split verdict was reached Tuesday in the sexual assault trial of 23-year-old Ari Goldstein. Goldstein was found guilty on three charges, including felony attempted sexual assault of a Temple University freshman inside his bedroom at the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house during the 2017-2018 school year, reports NBC Philadelphia.
During her testimony, the victim said she attended a party at the fraternity house and Goldstein invited her to his room to smoke weed. He then tried to force her to perform oral sex on him but she was able to escape.
Goldstein was also found not guilty of sexual assault and indecent assault in a Nov. 2017 encounter with another woman. The victim said their encounter started as consensual sex but that she told him to stop when he got aggressive. Both women sat next to each other in the courtroom.
Perry de Marco, Goldstein’s attorney, said both encounters were consensual and that he was involved in a “sustained” sexual relationship with one of the victims.
“The way everybody looks at these cases … they always talk about the responsibilities of the man, but never the responsibility of the victim to not put yourself in a dangerous position,” he said. “You just have to look at your common sense, and with freedom — sexual freedom among women — comes a responsibility to exercise it wisely. And that did not happen in either one of these cases.”
Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Zach Wynkoop called de Marco’s remarks “jaw-dropping,” adding, “Going to a fraternity party should not be a dangerous situation. Going dancing with your friends should not be a dangerous situation. Being a college-age student should not be a dangerous situation.”
Temple officials suspended Alpha Epsilon Pi in April 2018 after at least three women said they were sexually assaulted at the house. It is no longer a recognized campus organization, according to CBS Local.
A spokesperson said the school will not comment on Goldstein’s case but encourages “anyone who believes they have been a victim of sexual misconduct to come forward and file a report with the University’s Title IX coordinator, Tuttleman Counseling Services, or Campus Police.”
Goldstein will remain in jail until his May 4 sentencing.
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