The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 31.0°F | A Few Clouds and Breezy

Kang guilty of assault

By Dave Watt

Thomas S. Kang '91 was found guilty yesterday on charges of assault and battery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, in connection with an attack on a Lesley College woman at a Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) fraternity party on July 15. Kang's sentencing was delayed pending in-patient psychiatric evaluation.

The judge dismissed the more serious charge of assault with intent to commit murder, by agreement of the prosecuting and defense attorneys.

Kang admitted to the facts in the case, which led to the guilty finding. "This incident occurred as a result of Thomas Kang's inability to control himself when he's had too much to drink," said William P. Homans Jr., attorney for the defense. He argued that for this reason, Kang should not be sentenced to jail.

Kang will undergo in-patient psychiatric evaluation during Christmas vacation.

The assistant district attorney, Charles R. Daly, pressed for Kang to receive six months in jail, at the behest of the family of the woman assaulted.

It is unclear whether a civil suit will be filed in the case. "We've got a long way to go before we have a civil suit," said the woman's mother. The woman has requested anonymity.

It is also not yet known whether Kang will be permitted to finish his degree program in economics at MIT. "I'm not sure what we're going to do. Until I get the [official word], and get a chance to read it, I will make no decision," said James R. Tewhey, associate dean for student affairs.

It is likely the Dean's Office will decide Kang's status at MIT, instead of the Committee on Discipline, Tewhey said.

Kang, a member of Delta Upsilon, has been living off campus and attending classes at Harvard University this term.

This seriousness of this incident may lead the Interfraternity Council to change its party policies, IFC President Miles Arnone '91 said. This incident "makes it painfully clear what can happen when" anybody has too much alcohol to drink, he said.

DU President Joseph J. Berghammer '91 was not available for comment yesterday.

"A very, very violent incident"

Kang's admission of evidence brought to light more details of a violent attack. At approximately 2:30 am on July 15, while the woman was in a bathroom at Fiji, Kang apparently forced his way into the bathroom, turned off the lights, and assaulted her.

He admitted to having grabbed the woman by the head, and repeatedly slamming her head against the sink, walls, and toilet. He struck her head so hard against the toilet that the basin broke, as photographs displayed at the trial indicated.

During the trial, Daly, the assistant district attorney, called

the assault "a very, very violent incident."

The woman, cut and bleeding, was treated at a hospital for two hours. She received 12 stitches.

In asking for leniency, Kang's attorney pointed out the importance of alcohol in the case. He said that Kang is afraid he will act like this again when he is under the influence of alcohol. That is why Kang agreed to go into therapy, he said.

Kang, whose family also attended the trial, was not available for comment.