Wolfgang Ballinger, Cornell Frat President, Awaiting Grand Jury Trial for Sexual AssaultBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
A Cornell University student and the president of the school's Psi Upsilon fraternity chapter arrested for sexual assault did not appear in court and his case will be presented to a grand jury.
The Cornell University Police Department on Friday announced via Facebook Wolfgang Ballinger's arrest for an alleged sexual assault that took place Feb. 1. Ballinger, 21, "was charged with first-degree attempted rape, a Class C felony; first-degree criminal sexual act, a Class B felony; and first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D felony."
According to ABC News, Ballinger was released from custody on Tuesday on his own recognizance and waived his right to appear in court. Neither his attorney nor the prosecution presented any evidence at the hearing, though Ballinger did plead not guilty at a previous arraignment hearing on Saturday.
He was first arrested on Thursday and booked at the Tompkins County Jail after the female student accusing him of assaulting her identified him to the CUPD. She first reported the alleged crime to police on Jan. 31, stating she was sexually assaulted at the Psi Upsilon fraternity house earlier that morning.
Ballinger turned himself in on Thursday.
"His innocence will be established at the proper time and in the proper place, which is in the courts, not in the media," the student's attorney, James Baker, told ABC News.
Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett released a statement Saturday announcing an interim suspension for the Psi Upsilon chapter while an investigation takes place. She also stated the school would take "additional steps should be taken to ensure the Greek community at Cornell is living up to our institutional standard of excellence and respect for others."
The Psi Upsilon national office confirmed Ballinger was the Cornell chapter's president and announced it too suspended the chapter pending an investigation.
"Sexual assault, and any form of sexual harassment, is against our policy and in opposition of the values of Psi Upsilon," Psi Upsilon Executive Director Thomas Fox said in a statement. "Our chapter is cooperating with Cornell's investigation into this matter and any members involved will be held accountable. The Chi Chapter at Cornell has a distinguished history with the University and we are committed to continuing to be a benefit to Cornell and the Ithaca Community."