USC frat member suspended amid protests of "drug-facilitated sexual assaults"

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The University of Southern California fraternity member in the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity who was accused of sexual assault has been suspended, CBS Los Angeles reports. Los Angeles Police Department officials named Ryan Schiffilea, who was the president of the chapter, as the fraternity member in question.

© Al Seib via Getty Images USC officials have placed the Sigma Nu fraternity chapter on interim suspension following allegations that women were drugged and sexually assaulted at the fraternity house.

As of Friday, he is no longer a member of the USC chapter or the national fraternity pending a full investigation, the chapter said in a statement on Instagram.

According to an email sent to USC staff and obtained by CBS Los Angeles, the university received reports of drugs being placed into drinks during a party at the Sigma Nu fraternity house located in the 600 block of W. 28th Street, leading to “possible drug-facilitated sexual assaults.”

© Provided by CBS News USC students gather Friday afternoon at the Sigma Nu fraternity house near the USC campus. USC officials have placed the Sigma Nu fraternity chapter on interim suspension following allegations that women were drugged and sexually assaulted at the fraternity house.  / Credit: Al Seib via Getty Images

The Sigma Nu fraternity chapter at USC was put on interim suspension and, according to the email, cannot host any activities at the fraternity house.

CBS Los Angeles reported that students protested at the Sigma Nu house on Friday after the allegations.

“I want this to stop,” one student told the station. “It happens all the time and nothing is done about it.”

The chapter acknowledged in the statement that they had a “lack of communication” about the allegations, and that it is because they are “going through the legal process.” They said they’re working with USC, alumni volunteers and the national fraternity leaders to address the matter.

“We take all of this information very seriously and we remain committed to direct opposition to abuse, harassment, and assault in any form. We are also committed to taking appropriate accountability and disciplinary action in response to any confirmed occurrence of member wrongdoing,” the chapter said in the statement.

Another allegation facing the chapter is that drugs were given to one or more attendees at a social event at the chapter house in September, leading up to a sexual assault. The chapter said it currently has no further information about that incident, which is being investigated by the university’s Title IX office, which handles reports of sex discrimination and violence.

USC’s Title IX office can be contacted at https://eeotix.usc.edu/report/. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673

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