Crime

Florida man charged with indecent assault at fraternity house

A Florida man stands accused of indecently assaulting an unconscious woman at a fraternity house last year.

Taylor House, 22, of Weston, Fla., was arraigned before District Judge Carmine Prestia on charges of misdemeanor indecent assault and summary harassment Friday morning. House is suspected by police of having sexual contact with the person at the Beta Sigma Beta fraternity house, 255 E. Fairmount Ave., in November, according to police.

State College police learned of the reported incident from Penn State police and the fraternity’s attorney in December, according to the criminal complaint. The fraternity is being represented by Andrew Shubin, according to a release from Beta Sigma Beta Alumni Association President Moss Walden.

The woman allegedly assaulted met with police in January and reported “little to no recall” of the night, including any contact with House and others, due to intoxication, according to court documents.

Detectives spoke with several brothers. One told police that he was friends with the woman, an 18-year-old freshman at the time, and that the person looked intoxicated upon arrival at the house between 11:30 p.m. and midnight the night of the alleged incident. He reported that they went to another brother’s room and talked with a man and a woman there for a while and they left.

The man reported that the woman complained of a headache and wanted to take a nap, and he covered her with blankets on a couch in the room and left, according to court documents. There was no one else in the room and he didn’t see anyone enter when he left, he reported to police.

The woman was nude underneath the blankets, the witness reported to police.

A second brother interviewed by police reported that he entered the room between 1:30 and 2 a.m. to go to bed and saw two people sitting on the couch. One was sitting on the other’s lap and it appeared they were having sex. The witness said he recognized House and told him to leave because he didn’t live in the room or have any business there.

The woman reportedly “flopped” on the ground when House stood to leave and was unable to give a response when he tried to talk to her, according to court documents. The witness, who said he didn’t know the woman, told police that he stayed up with her until about 8 a.m., when she got dressed and left.

Police said the fraternity leadership was notified of the incident and questioned House and the witnesses afterward, then reported the incident to fraternity advisers, who contacted Penn State police. The case was referred to State College police because the fraternity house is in their jurisdiction.

“I think the important thing to note here was that the fraternity did the right thing by reporting it and cooperated in the investigation,” State College Lt. Keith Robb said.

Prestia released House on his own recognizance Friday. Matt McClenahen, House’s attorney, waived a preliminary hearing at the arraignment.

McClenahen said the early waiver was because his client lives in Florida. He declined to comment further.

House has been expelled from the fraternity, Walden said in the statement.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said House was a student in the spring, but doesn’t appear to have registered for the summer or fall semesters.

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