John O’Neill, 21, of Yorktown, N.Y. has been charged with first degree sexual assault and first degree unlawful restraint on the date of Oct. 31 in Middletown. An e-mail sent out to the Wesleyan community on Jan. 5 confirmed that a non-student had been arrested in the investigation into a case of sexual assault at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. This news comes following an anonymous student’s allegation of rape by a non-student at the Beta fraternity house on the same night that O’Neill has been charged.
According to court documents, O’Neill was arraigned on the morning of Jan. 4 at the Middletown Superior Court and taken into custody. Judge Morgan set bond at $250,000. O’Neill was released from custody on a surety bond later that afternoon.
He is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 8.
Middletown Police Department (MPD) declined to comment on the case. However, according to a Jan. 4 article in the Middletown Press, O’Neill was ordered to remain off the Wesleyan campus, and his arrest warrant was ordered sealed.
A Nov. 9 all-campus e-mail from Public Safety (PSafe) and the administration first cautioned the Wesleyan community against visiting the Beta fraternity house in light of several reports of sexual assault.
A second investigation by MPD into another reported case of sexual assault at the fraternity house is ongoing, confirmed Director of Public Safety Dave Meyer.
Although MPD is conducting the investigation, PSafe is supporting the police department in their investigative efforts, said Meyer.
According to Beta President Jeff Tanenbaum ’12, the fraternity will put in place stricter measures to ensure that only students and friends of students enter the house, such as making sure that all entrances are secured and visitors to parties are better screened before entering.
“We’re trying to make sure we’re keeping all our doors locked, being more stringent with our measures, and checking IDs more thoroughly now,” he said.