Two University of Arizona students were arraigned Wednesday on charges they sexually assaulted a female student at a UA frat house that has had past problems on campus.
Fraternity brothers Ellery Shane Gordon, 20, and Gregory William Haft, 19, entered pleas of not guilty in Pima County Superior Court.
The pair were indicted by a grand jury Feb. 28 on two counts each of sexual abuse and one count each of sexual assault and kidnapping.
According to court records, a woman told university police she was at a Feb. 5 party at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house, 1449 N. Cherry Ave., when Haft told her there was another party upstairs.
Once she went upstairs, the woman said Haft and Gordon locked her in a bedroom, forcefully removed her clothing, inappropriately touched her and made her perform a sex act on both of them.
A resident of the house repeatedly knocked on the door during the incident, the woman told police, and the men grabbed her arms whenever she tried to pull away.
Officers observed bruises on the woman's arms, breasts and the back of her neck, court documents indicate.
Gordon, of California, is listed in UA records as an undergraduate studying biology in the College of Science. Haft, of New York, is listed as a pre-nursing undergraduate in the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science.
Both were members of Pi Kappa Phi at the time of the incident but were expelled from the fraternity in the wake of the allegations, fraternity President Yoseph Arsala said in an interview.
Arsala disputed there was a party at the frat house the night of the occurrence. He said the defendants attended a party elsewhere before returning to the fraternity house.
The Pima County Attorney's Office requested $150,000 bail each for Gordon and Haft. Tucson City Magistrate Wendy Million imposed $50,000 bail on each, and they have since bonded out of jail.
The pair, dressed in slacks and dark polo shirts, sat quietly in court Wednesday awaiting their appearances.
Gordon's attorney, Skip Donau of Tucson, said afterward in an interview that his client is "completely innocent."
"We have every expectation that these charges will either be dismissed or he will be acquitted," Donau said.
Haft's attorney, Dan Cooper of Tucson, had no comment.
A case management conference, the next step in the proceedings, is set for April 25.
UA Dean of Students Keith Humphrey, whose office oversees sororities and fraternities, said students charged with serious crimes typically face hearings for alleged violations of the student code of conduct.
Those found to have jeopardized the health and safety of others can be warned, suspended or expelled, he said.
Pi Kappa Phi was on probationary status for most of last year after a November 2010 frat party turned into an underage booze bash. The fraternity was in good standing at the time of the alleged incidents last month.
Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 573-4138.
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