Fraternity President Charged With Sexual Assault Banned From Cornell Campus

Illustration for article titled Fraternity President Charged With Sexual Assault Banned From Cornell Campus

Wolfgang Ballinger, the president of Psi Upsilon at Cornell University, has been banned from campus after being charged with three felonies in connection with an alleged sexual assault.

Ballinger, 21, whose father owns NYC music venue Webster Hall, was released from custody on Tuesday after pleading not guilty to first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sexual assault, and first-degree sex abuse. Via Gothamist:

He has been ordered to stay away from campus, according to university officials, and Cornell University President Elizabeth Garrett called the rape allegations “deeply disturbing.” The fraternity, Psi Upsilon, has been placed on interim suspension “pending the conclusion of a full investigation.”


According to a CNN report, the unnamed victim told police that Ballinger brought her to his room, locked the door, and attempted to have forcible intercourse with her. He is also accused of forcing her to perform oral sex, and of sexually abusing her with his hands.

The ban from campus has “no specific time limit,” a Cornell spokeswoman told the New York Daily News.


The fraternity’s executive director has released a statement announcing the Psi Upsilon’s cooperation with the investigation:

“Sexual assault, and any form of sexual harassment, is against our policy and in opposition of the values of Psi Upsilon. Our chapter is cooperating with Cornell’s investigation into this matter and any members involved will be held accountable. The Chi Chapter at Cornell has a distinguished history with the University and we are committed to continuing to be a benefit to Cornell and the Ithaca Community.”


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Image via screengrab/ABC News.

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I’m glad to see the school is taking it seriously and not sweeping it under the rug but I’m not surprised. I was raped at a frat when I was a Cornell student back in 2008 and while it was obviously an awful and traumatic experience, the school did everything they could to help me. They worked with the local pd with me without pressuring me to take legal action if I wasn’t ready to. They helped me navigate getting extensions for classes because I was a mess. They had an advocate come with me to look at a lineup and they set me up with counseling right away. And most importantly, they listened to me and they believed me which is mostly what I needed at the time. Also I know this is going to sound bitchy but I am not surprised by the frat being Psi U....they were notoriously “affluenza” types that had their own private indoor squash courts inside their house, where I know at least one girl was the victim of an attempted assault. Generally we just knew not to be alone with guys there, which obviously is ridiculous that that was our operating policy but we were young and dumb and didn't want to make waves especially where it might lead to you being blacklisted by the cool frat. Ugh.