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High-profile SMU student accused of sex crime

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office is expected to forward a Southern Methodist University student’s case to a grand jury. The 19-year-old male sophomore is accused of a sexual assault against another male SMU student.

According to police accounts, the alleged victim of the sexual abuse reported two incidents on and near the University Park campus — one in a parking garage and another near the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. During one encounter, the reported attacker forced the student to perform an oral sex act and threatened him to keep quiet.

An affidavit said the victim tried to fend off the assault but felt "physically forced into compliance." The victim told authorities he made it verbally clear to the suspect that he did not want to engage in sexual activity.

Court papers say the sexually abused student contacted police the day after the assault. The victim agreed to phone the suspect and let police record the conversation. The sex crime suspect apparently warned the victim to say the sexual incident was consensual to avoid involvement by the school and the law.

The suspect’s family is deeply connected to Southern Methodist University. Four generations of his family attended the school. The accused’s great-great grandfather was a member of the school’s founding committee and an SMU professor.

The suspect, a finance major, is suspended from his fraternity and barred from the University Park campus until the results of the police investigation are completed. The student was arrested, jailed and later released on $25,000 bond.

Victims of sexual abuse often delay reporting or fail to tell authorities about crimes against them, many fearing repercussions from an attacker. The alleged victim might have been too afraid to come forward to talk about a male-on-male assault or challenge the influential and perhaps wealthy family of a high-profile student. Instead, the "intimidated" student who reported the sexual assault helped Texas police identify and arrest the suspect.

Source: usnews.nbcnews.com, "Student from prominent SMU family accused of campus sex assault," Scott Gordon, Sept. 29, 2012

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