Penn State Facebook Frat Members May Face Criminal Charges
On Tuesday afternoon, State College Assistant Police Chief John Gardner (above, center) gave a press conference about the investigation into members of Penn State University fraternity Kappa Delta Rho posting photos of nude, unconscious women on Facebook. Kappa Delta Rho’s motto: Honor above all things.
Gardner explained that a former member of the fraternity went to police on January 18th to provide information about an invite-only Facebook page containing “photos of unsuspecting victims and some other illicit, illegal-type behavior going on at the fraternity.”
An investigation has been ongoing since the day after the informant visited the police station, said Gardner, and the investigation continues. There have been no arrests in the case, but police say that Kappa Delta Rho members could face criminal charges of harassment and invasion of privacy.
Here’s partial video of Gardner speaking at the press conference:
According to an affidavit of probable cause in the case, the former Kappa Delta Rho member told police that the 144-member strong private Facebook page, known as “2.0,” started last year after the original page, “Covert Business Transactions,” was shut down after a victim discovered a topless photograph of her on it. Police say that in addition to the photos of nude, unconscious women, 2.0 contained evidence of drug sales and that the informant told them that those drugs included ADD medication, marijuana and cocaine.
“Some of the postings were of nude females that appeared to be passed out and nude or in other sexual or embarrassing positions,” wrote police in the affidavit. “It appears from the photos that the individuals in the photos are not aware that the photos had been taken. The provided photos showcase a small fraction of the posts on the page.”
Gardner explained that the department performed a computer forensics exam on the informant’s computer, which provided additional leads. He said that the department referred the matter to the Office of Student Conduct at Penn State on March 3rd and that it is now a bifurcated investigation.
On Tuesday, Penn State’s vice president for student affairs Damon Sims released a statement saying that the fraternity has been suspended for one year and that it will be reorganized upon its reopening.
“The evidence offered by the Facebook postings is appalling, offensive and inconsistent with the University community’s values and expectations,” wrote Sims. “The University will hold accountable any groups and individuals found responsible.”
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