Fraternity expels 2 for interfering in rape investigation

Published 10:26 am Thursday, October 27, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS — The national office of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity says it has expelled two men from its University of Minnesota chapter for interfering in a sexual assault investigation against another member.

The Star Tribune reported Wednesday the announcement followed its report on Sunday about the rape of a 19-year-old student in 2014 by fraternity member Daniel Drill-Mellum, who’s now serving six years in prison. The newspaper also reported that two of his fraternity brothers got the victim on the phone, recorded the conversation and tried to discourage her from reporting the attack to police.

“Sigma Phi Epsilon stands strongly against those who would commit this callous act as well as those who seek to cover it up,” the CEO of Virginia-based SigEp, Brian Warren, said in a statement posted on the fraternity’s website Tuesday.

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The statement said Drill-Mellum was expelled within hours of when the local chapter learned of his involvement in the assault. The statement said the two others were removed “via resignation” but did not specify when.

Drill-Mellum’s two friends put the unsuspecting victim on speaker phone and recorded the conversation, in which one asked her if the sex had been consensual. She misunderstood the question and answered “yeah,” the newspaper reported. Based on that recording, prosecutors initially declined to charge him, but police later reopened the case after determining she had been tricked.