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Rape Allegations Result in Fraternity Sanctions: 2: 2

By Josh Hartmann
Chairman

Concern about alcohol use was heightened after a student claimed she had been raped at a party at which alcohol had been served to minors.

An MIT sophomore reported to the Boston Police that she was raped by Thomas M. Fahy '91, a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, after a December 1990 party at SAE.

While a court magistrate later ruled that formal charges were not warranted, the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs placed SAE on probation for providing alcohol to minors.

"It has been determined and acknowledged by the fraternity that SAE fraternity allowed minors to consume alcohol that was provided by the fraternity at a social event" that night, stated a letter to SAE from James R. Tewhey, associate dean for student affairs. The conditions of the probation included a ban on the use of alcohol at all fraternity social events.

Alcohol played a significant role in the incident, according to a source who was close to the alleged victim. "If [the victim] were sober, this never, ever would have happened," the friend said.

According to the source, both Fahy and the woman consumed alcohol at the party, although they did not attend the party together. The woman became drunk after her own date became "very drunk and . . . passed out," the source said. The source said after the alleged victim became drunk she then flirted with Fahy.

A lawyer for Fahy, however, disputed that the alleged victim was drunk, citing interviews with male and female witnesses.

The sanctions "address what the fraternity was at fault for, which was providing alcohol to minors. What happened as a result, the alleged rape, is being dealt with through [other channels]," said Neal H. Dorow, advisor to fraternities and independent living groups.