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UCF fraternity suspended a second time after 2 students arrested on suspicion of gang rape

The fraternity was suspended the first time after an alleged sexual assault at a "New Year's in July" party.

by Alex Lubben
Apr 25 2018, 3:26pm

A fraternity at the University of Central Florida has been suspended for the second time in less than a year after two students were arrested and charged in connection with an alleged gang rape at an off-campus party Friday night.

The victim said she blacked out and awoke to the men, David Anthony Kirk, 20, and Jack Ryan Smith, 26, taking turns forcing her to have oral and penetrative sex, according to the arrest report, which was reviewed by the Orlando Sentinel. One of them even said, “my turn, my turn,” according to the report.

Soon after, Kirk and Smith were arrested and have since been charged with sexual battery. The fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, expelled Kirk in January, the frat’s national office said, although officials wouldn’t say why. Smith “is not now, nor has he ever been a pledge or a member ATO,” the national office added in a statement provided to VICE News.

Alpha Tau Omega’s second suspension smears the national organization’s reputation, which has a presence at around 150 campuses, at one of the largest universities in the country and the largest in the state of Florida.

The chapter at the University of Central Florida had been suspended another time, last summer, when a woman said two men sexually assaulted her at a “New Year’s in July” party the frat hosted, according to the Sentinel. The next month, the University of Central Florida put the frat on “temporary suspension.” But its status went back to normal within a few months, and the two students accused of rape eventually had their charges dropped.

Now, the university has put the frat on “interim suspension” again. That means the brothers are “prohibited from participating in on- or off-campus fundraisers, socials, mixers, intramural competitions, recruitment, receptions, service projects, conferences, etc,” according to university documents. A hearing has been scheduled for May 7.

The national Alpha Tau Omega office said that although the five people who live at that house are members of the frat, the chapter didn’t officially sanction the party. “I also want to clarify that the incident that sparked the student conduct action took place off-campus,” Courtney Gilmartin, a communications officer with the university, told VICE News in an email.

“Alpha Tau Omega supports the woman alleging sexual assault at a UCF party, and the fraternity will work with university and local authorities in their investigation,” the national frat’s statement read.

Smith bonded out of jail, while Kirk remains behind bars, according to the Associated Press. Their attorneys aren't listed on jail records, and the two men couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Cover image: David Anthony Kirk (left), 20, and Jack Ryan Smith, 26 (Orange County Jail via Orlando Sun Sentinel)