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Vandalism Strikes Michigan State's Spartan Statue

University Wire

Casey Shuck woke Friday morning to the sound of water balloons and paint balls hurling at the Sparty statue at Michigan State University. But despite the attack, damage was minimal.

The physical science junior was staked out by Sparty with fellow Spartan Marching Band members, poised to protect the statue from vandalism by U of M students, when about 30 people attacked the area.

Shuck, an alto saxophone player, said that at about 4:30 a.m., some people drove by and fired paint guns and balloons at the statue. Shortly after, more people came out of the bushes toting gallon buckets of yellow paint.

MSU police Lt. Mary Johnson said the department received a call about the incident at about 5 a.m. Fourteen people were arrested in the incident. She said warrants are being sought for the students through the county prosecutor's office.

Shuck said, although he and other band members managed to clean most of the paint off the statue, many sleeping bags and other personal belongings were damaged in the attack. Johnson said there was also paint on the pavement near the statue.

"I was offended," Shuck said. "It's our mascot. It's our tradition. We're going to defend it at all costs."

He said in the three years he has been in the band, the incident was the most extreme act of vandalism he has seen.

Johnson said the event may be related to an incident earlier in the week when the big "M" in the center of the U of M's Diag was defaced with green and white paint.

"Apparently, it is was supposed to be retaliation for somebody going down to U-M and doing some graffiti, but that's no excuse," she said.

Aside from the attack on Sparty, Johnson said, the weekend was relatively quiet.

"It didn't sound like any unusual disturbances or actions," she said. "It looked like quite a few people left for the weekend."

There was also little excitement in Ann Arbor, said U of M Police Lieutenant Douglas Swix.

"There was quite a bit of partying going on," he said. "Other than that, it was reasonably quiet."

[The State News, Sept. 28]

Woman claims rape at Utah KS

Another 18-year old woman has accused a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at the University of Utah of raping her.

Detective Heidi Stringfellow of the Salt Lake City Police Department said this case will probably not be criminally pursued. However, the alleged victim may be called as a witness in the sexual assault case Stringfellow is currently investigating, which allegedly occurred at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house on the night of Sept. 4.

The woman said she will cooperate fully and hopes to testify.

"I just want a little closure to this," she said. "I know it's too late for me to press charges, but these guys need to know that they can't get away this. I'll help bring about justice in any way I can."

The alleged incident occurred Feb. 20. The woman filed a complaint with the police July 9.

The woman said she did not come forward at first because she wanted to take care of the matter privately, but chose to file the complaint when she heard of other girls being similarly attacked by the same man.

The alleged victim said she was sexually assaulted first in the Kappa Sigma fraternity house and later in the alleged assailant's home.

"We had gone to a party in the Avenues," she said. "[He] was there and we had met about two weeks earlier."

"The police broke up the party and we had to move it back to the house," she said. "I remember him approaching me and we went into another room, the library. We were kissing and a lot of heavy petting was going on.

"He started undressing me and I didn't want him to. I felt really uncomfortable and told him not to, but I was heavily intoxicated and I could hardly move. I was about to pass out. I repeatedly told him no."

"And that's when it happened," she said. "That's when he raped me."

The alleged attacker denies all allegations. "All of these complaints are untrue," he said.

The alleged incident occurred in the library of the Kappa Sigma house. "There's a huge window looking into the library and all of his fraternity brothers were there at the window watching the whole time it happened," she said.

She said it would have been obvious to anyone watching that it was not consensual sexual activity but sexual assault.

Jason Ellis, president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, declined to comment on specific allegations but emphasized that no one has been criminally charged in this case, and that right now these are only allegations. "That is how we will treat them," he said.

The alleged victim said she had become separated from her friends during the confusion of the party and was left stranded at the fraternity house. Allegedly, the accused assailant then offered her a ride home.

"Instead, I fell asleep in his truck and when I woke up we were at his place where I was assaulted again," she said.

The alleged attacker said he is innocent. "I'm disgusted with this," he said. "I just want her to go away. I didn't rape anybody."

"I had sex with her one time; it was in the library," he said. "I didn't force her to do anything she didn't want to. She went and got a condom from one of my friends before we had sex."

The alleged rapist said this woman is angry because he spurned her advances after they had engaged in consensual intercourse.

"I told her that we can be friends, but that I didn't want to date her. I guess that wasn't good enough for her," he said. "She would call me at home two to three times a day for a month. She's pulled enough stuff to warrant a restraining order."

J. Stayner Landward, dean of students at the University of Utah, said his office takes allegations of rape seriously.

"It is a hurtful and despicable crime," he said. "Perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

He said his office has refused to reprimand the Kappa Sigma fraternity over these sexual assaults until he receives more information from Stringfellow.

He has, however, placed the fraternity under social probation (no parties on or off campus) because the alleged victim from the night of Sept. 6 maintained that she, an 18-year old minor, had been served alcohol.

[Daily Utah Chronicle, Sept. 28]

LSU Police quell fistfight

Fists started swinging on the seventh floor of a residence hall and two Louisiana State University students ended up with misdemeanor summons.

Preston Gary Jr., 18, and Leneir Johnson, 17, were charged with disturbing the peace by fistic encounter Monday over an alleged stolen compact disc, according to police captain Ricky Adams.

"Gary is saying Johnson allegedly took a CD from his room," Adams said.

Police first responded to a call about a disturbance and fight at Kirby-Smith residence hall, he said. When officers arrived, they came into contact with the individuals.

"Mr. Gary allegedly confronted Mr. Johnson about the issue," Adams said. "Subsequently, a fight erupted."

Gary sustained minor injuries but refused medical assistance, Adams said.

Officers were unable to determine who initiated the fight, so they issued summons to both individuals, he said.

"They interviewed numerous witnesses to determine what occurred prior to the fight," he said. "I'm hoping we can continue this investigation and wash this out."

Gary alleged Johnson made threats, including the use of a firearm, Adams said.

"Officers made an extensive search of Johnson's room and cannot substantiate that the threat can at all be attributed to Johnson," he said. "There is no evidence."

[The Reveille, Sept. 28]