Cornell Frat Suspended After Member Is Arrested on Charges of Attempted Rape
Wolfgang Ballinger's charges also include accusations that the victim was helpless while being assaulted and that the assault was oral or anal in nature, according to jail records
A 21-year-old Cornell University student was arrested earlier this week and accused of sexually assaulting a female in a bedroom at his fraternity, CNN reports.
Wolfgang Ballinger remained in the Tompkins County Jail Saturday morning on charges of attempted rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree, PEOPLE has confirmed.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges, his lawyer confirms to PEOPLE.
“Wolfgang Ballinger is not guilty of the charges that have been filed against him. His innocence will be established at the proper time and in the proper place – which is in the courts, not in the media,” Ballinger’s attorney, James A. Baker, said in a statement to PEOPLE, declining further comment.
Ballinger is the president of Psi Upsilon’s Chi chapter at Cornell, according to CNN.
In an earlier video posted to his YouTube channel, Ballinger said he was studying hospitality at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and that his father owned nightclubs and bars in the United States and Canada, including New York City’s Webster Hall.
He was booked into the jail on Thursday, according to a jail official, after he turned himself in to investigators, Cornell University police said in a statement on Facebook.
The victim told police that the alleged assault took place early Jan. 31 in a bedroom at the fraternity house’s address, according to a police alert issued Monday.
Ballinger’s charges also include an accusation that the victim was helpless while being assaulted, according to the jail official.
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Ballinger was arraigned Thursday night in Ithaca City Court, according to the Ithaca Journal. His bail was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond according to the jail official.
He will next appear in city court on Tuesday, for a preliminary hearing, campus police said.
It was not immediately clear if Ballinger would face additional disciplinary review from Cornell.
On Monday, the fraternity was placed on interim suspension by Cornell as a result of the accusations, the university said in a statement.
“Interim suspension is a pause in the operations of a chapter during which the chapter may not engage in any activities other than operation of its residence,” Travis Apgar, associate dean of students, said in the statement. “Interim suspension is used when details of a credible report compel the university to cease activities of the organization for the safety of the members, those joining or guests.”
In a Friday statement, Psi Upsilon said it was cooperating with the investigation, has suspended “all activity of the chapter” and that fraternity staff would be traveling to Ithaca.
“Sexual assault, and any form of sexual harassment, is against our policy and in opposition of the values of Psi Upsilon,” Executive Director Thomas Fox said in the statement. “Our chapter is cooperating with Cornell’s investigation into this matter and any members involved will be held accountable.”