Charges dropped against Phi Gamma Delta member arrested on suspicion of sexual assault

2012.02.28.fiji.KERNBERG
Sarina Kernberg/Staff

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Update 4/29/16: This article has been updated to reflect new information from the UC Berkeley chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. 

Update 04/29/2016: The charges against the member of Phi Gamma Delta were dropped one day after he was arrested.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges Friday against a member of Phi Gamma Delta one day after he was arrested in conjunction with a sexual assault investigation, according to a statement from the UC Berkeley chapter of Phi Gamma Delta.

The investigation, led by the Berkeley Police Department, was in response to a report of a sexual assault that allegedly took place Feb. 19 inside the fraternity house.

According to the statement, the victim alleged that she was drugged and sexually assaulted at a party at the fraternity, but the chapter may have documentation showing that the house did not throw a party on that date.

The 20-year-old male suspect was arrested outside of the Phi Gamma Delta house at 2395 Piedmont Ave., where he was reported to be living. According to BPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel, there were no other suspects in the case.

The suspect was booked at Berkeley Jail on Thursday and his bail was set at $100,000.

“The members of Phi Gamma Delta take seriously the safety of our fellow students and particularly allegations of sexual assault,” said Fisher Johnson, president of the UC Berkeley chapter of the fraternity, in a statement Friday regarding the original charges. “The legal process has been set in motion to address this charge involving one of our members, and we will cooperate fully with the authorities if called upon.”

The national branch of Phi Gamma Delta could not be reached as of press time.

Phi Gamma Delta, commonly referred to as Fiji, lost its recognition from the Interfraternity Council and the campus in spring 2014, according to Daniel Saedi, president of UC Berkeley’s IFC.

In February 2015, the Panhellenic Council lifted some restrictions on disaffiliated fraternities. Previously, it forbade members from participating in any “social activity” on their properties, including the consumption of alcohol.

The restrictions were initially enacted after five individuals reported that they were drugged with “roofies” and sexually assaulted at the unaffiliated fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon in November 2014.

Eleven fraternities and seven sororities are listed as unrecognized Greek organizations on the campus website, which states that students are “counseled against joining these groups.”

Frankel said he is unaware of any other sexual assault investigations regarding UC Berkeley fraternities.

Contact Jessica Lynn at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jessicailynn.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that in January 2015, UC Berkeley’s Panhellenic Council lifted a ban on exchanges with disaffiliated fraternities. In fact, the council has not lifted this ban.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that in January 2015, UC Berkeley’s Panhellenic Council lifted a ban on members’ “social activity” on the properties of disaffiliated fraternities. In fact, the council partially lifted this ban in February 2015.

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  • John Hudson

    Is your name Paul? If not, who is Paul? When JO said that Paul is a moron I assumed that he was referring to you. I don’t know that you are clinically a moron, but your emotions clearly are in charge of you just like the lady said in the Kaiser commercial.

    • still trying

      I have already posted this comment, but feel it is pertinent for you as well. Especially if you live in Berkeley or a surrounding community. .
      Yes, I agree that this is a criminal issue, but the other issues these types of unsupervised student housing are creating is a nuisance and are developing unsafe environments for the entire community. Drinking to the point of poisonings, rapes and other types of injuries are creating a hazard for the entire community. Over worked police that have other crimes to deal with. Overloaded ER’s from student drinking, overloaded fire and ambulances which are creating delayed responses to other community residents is a travesty. And the excessive need to call surrounding communities for their ambulances as well. Not only is this behavior creating an unsafe situation here in Berkeley, but is now creating an unsafe environment for the communities surrounding Berkeley by the constant need for mutual aid. (every weekend) A heart attack patient had to wait 25 minutes for an ambulance because all of Berkeley’s ambulances were responding to intoxicated minors at frats. If it was you or a loved one that died or permanently disabled because of these delays, would you not want things to change and for the adults in charge do something about these excessive drinking issues that are occurring way to frequently in Berkeley. Berkeley has very limited emergency services that are being stretched to the breaking point almost every weekend because of drinking at frats. If you do not believe me just listen to broadcastify on weekends. And since the IFC and alumni feel that rapes , drinking deaths and injuries are OK Then it is up to UC and the City to step in. That is why I am demanding that Dirks do something and if he is unwilling, to resign and get someone who will.
      One more thing John. You mentioned that you are retired. Being retired means you are of a certain age. My hopes are that you will never need an ambulance on weekends. If that does occur, you would be better off driving yourself to the hospital. There is a good chance you will die before an ambulance arrives if you decided to wait. Remember, I was an RN at Highland, Summit and Alta Bates ER’s and I have seen the outcomes of these delays. Not pretty John. I also took care of these dead and injured students that were drunk. Not only are they a threat to themselves, but also when they do arrive and I am pulled from caring for stroke and heart attack patients in order to deal with an acute alcohol poisoning of minors. Which could have been avoided with a little more adult supervision . John, I can produce videos showing these statements to be true. If you like, I can post their links for you. One was done by ABC 7 out of San Francisco, called EMS overload in Berkeley because of intoxicated minors. Also the paramedics are using something called a Berkeley barf bib. Which is used to protect the paramedics from puking students. There is a lot I am afraid you are not aware of and commenting on things you know nothing about. I would be glad to share with you just some of the things that are occurring in Berkeley, that way you can make a more intelligent argument for allowing this behavior to continue instead of defending it without any basis. As a lawyer John, isn’t proof the deciding factor. Not feelings or prejudice of what you think is right.

      • John Hudson

        Let it go. You are emotionally invested to such a degree as to be unhealthy. You need to find out why you are so emotionally invested. I am disengaging now. Good bye.

        • still trying

          “You need to find out why you are so emotionally invested.” John you never read what I wrote above. Otherwise you would know. Some lawyer.

  • still trying

    Yup, but I will be the first to say here, that charges were dropped.

    • John Hudson

      In this instance it probably means that no charges were ever filed. This is another instance of political correctness running roughshod over the rights of individuals. I hope he demands and receives compensation for his emotional distress and being manhandled by the police.

      • still trying

        The police filed charges. It is up to the DA to either pursue those charges or dismiss them. The DA decided not too. I do agree, BPD does a terrible job of investigations. Our home has been broken into twice by drunken frats boys. I caught a few of them twice. Charges were filed, but the DA refused to prosecute. The DA stated, “We do not want to ruin the lives of a Cal student for a minor indiscretion.” If alcohol is involved, the DA will not pursue charges for anything. Not even a death related to alcohol. Alameda’s DA’s office is also lame and will not take difficult cases.

        • John Hudson

          You are displaying you lack of understanding of how the criminal justice system works. The police cannot file charges. Only the district attorney or attorney general can file charges. The Latin term for when the prosecutor declines to file charges is nolle prosequi. A person is not charged with a crime until he is brought before the court and formally arraigned. I know. I am a licensed attorney. You can look me up on the State Bar of California online roster of attorneys and see that I went to Cal as an undergraduate.

          • still trying

            “The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges Friday against a member of Phi Gamma Delta one day after he was arrested in conjunction with a sexual assault investigation, according to a statement from the UC Berkeley chapter of Phi Gamma Delta.”

            Dropped, dismissed just about the same.You must be an attorney by the way you nit-pick words. A complaint was filed to police. The police arrested and filed charges. Because they were both drunk, both with legally altered mentally, It becomes difficult if not impossible to prove without witnesses. Therefore the DA, not wanting a challenge and probably short staffed, felt this was not the battle to fight. and “Dropped the charges.”
            As a licensed attorney, if you had read the article, you will have noticed how it was written. I was using their terminology. I used the word dropped/dismissed, Which is their words. Arguing a point when there really isn’t a point, appears to make you a good lawyer. NOT.

          • John Hudson

            There is an important distinction to be made between when charges are dismissed and a nolle prosequi. When I took the bar exam in 1982 the application asked whether you had ever been charged with a crime. If he wants to become a lawyer this young man will be able to answer that question in the negative.

            I also noticed a few run-on sentences in your last post. How did you do on the Subject A exam? I went to a catholic school and was taught english grammar in the eighth grade under the heavy hand of Sister Concepta. It’s pretty clear that you could use a few sessions with her.

          • still trying

            Have you ever noticed how others write on blogs. This is not English 101 or 201. Get real picky, do ya.. The article and my writing was not based on your law degree. I made my statements pertaining to how the article was written. I have a joke for you. But it really isn’t a joke. What is it when you throw 10 lawyers into the bay? Answer. A good start. You would be one of the first tossed into the bay. Our world would be so much better, without lawyers. Lighten up. Don’t be so full of yourself or think you are so much better because of your law degree. Being a lawyer, contributes nothing to our world or to the improvement of society, unless you are working for nothing and fighting to protect the environment or the downtrodden. Which from your writings you are clearly not. Get a life and quit being a jerk that is too picky for the real world. GROW UP.

          • John Hudson

            Being picky was my profession. I’m retired now. Old habits die hard. That’s why I’m back here being picky. If you can’t be picky you are not cut out to be a lawyer or anything else that requires discipline and intelligence. Your repeated posting demonstrates that you are emotionally incontinent. As the Kaiser ad says, “Over here you are in control of your emotions. Over there your emotions are in control of you”. You are definitely “over there”. Rich white people have rights too. With the likes of you violating their rights they need the likes of me to protect them.

          • still trying

            John, do not take it out on me for your lack of contributions to society and your career decisions. When asked, the public’s regard for your profession is not good. In fact lawyers and politicians are the most despised occupations in the world. And for good reason as you have proven here. For me, I spent 6 years caring for and training personnel in the military, to save lives, and how to keep themselves safe while doing their jobs. I also spent and retired from years of being a firefighter/EMT-P. And almost 20 years as an emergency room nurse. How have you helped. Well it appears being picky and correcting the grammar of others. You must feel proud of your life accomplishments. Good job thinking only of yourself and how smart you are. There is more to life than that, John.

          • JO

            It isn’t worth it to try to talk sense into Paul. He’s a moron.

    • JO

      What’s the source of this info?

      • still trying

        Update 04/29/2016: The charges against the member of Phi Gamma Delta were dropped one day after he was arrested.
        Top of page.

  • still trying

    It’s time for Dirks to leave as well. Cal is the 2nd most dangerous campus in California. He continues to ignore the problems that are occurring around frat row. There have been 5 reported sexual assaults and 4 druggings in this area since January and two recent deaths from drinking, not to mention dozens of alcohol poisonings. That is more than 2 incidents a month in just a few block radius. When will Dirks start doing what has been needed and required for years? Better control and enforcement of Cal’s frats would be a good start..

    • Acknowledge all the facts

      I am not sure if you read the Berkeleyside article that provides a map of all of the sexual assaults near campus in 2016, but to pin all of these problems on frat row is extremely ignorant (http://www.berkeleyside.com/2016/04/29/uc-berkeley-student-arrested-after-fraternity-rape-report/).

      • still trying

        If you were to actually check addresses and police calls you would see that their is clearly a problem regarding frat row. I am not saying that the City as a whole, does not have a problem. But when a residential area competes evenly with commercial districts regarding crime, something needs to be done. Not ignored.
        Go to http://www.ucberkeleyfrats.com and go to my facebook page. The facts do not lie. Just some people refuse to believe.

        • Acknowledge all the facts

          The fact that you’re referencing that joke of a website is not even worthy of a reply.

          • still trying

            This shows how little you are willing to research in order to learn the truth. Did you go to the facebook link where more specific data is posted. If the Dept of Justice, all UC Chancellors, including Dirks, UC President, President Obama, EPA and over 10,000 people a day that come to my site for the truth, clearly shows you are lame and lazy and have already decided the facts are wrong. You are truly a Cal frat boy. Bravo for perpetuating what we all know to be true about fraternities.