Drake Student Faces Sexual Assault Allegations...Again
For the second time this year a Drake University student is being accused of sexually assaulting another student.
Senior Anthony Bertolone allegedly assaulted another male student at an off campus apartment on November 28th.
According to police reports, and through information confirmed by ABC 5, Bertolone snuck into his friend's bedroom following a party at his friend's apartment. Bertolone allegedly fondled and tried performing oral sex on his friend while he slept next to his girlfriend. The girlfriend did not wake up.
Bertolone faces felony charges of sexual abuse stemming from an incident in August where he allegedly sexually assaulted and videotaped a fraternity brother inside the Sigma Chi Fraternity House.
Bertolone was kicked out of his Fraternity but continued taking classes at the University.
Sources confirmed that Bertolone has been suspended by the University following the most recent allegations.
The frat brother accusing Bertolone of sexual assault told ABC 5's Joe Augustine that the only comment he has at this time is that "he is very disappointed in how Drake has handled this situation."
Drake addressed that comment through a released statement to ABC 5 that said ,"That student is choosing criminal charges instead of a University investigation and the alleged victim has declined to participate in the university's process at this juncture."
It also states that "The university does not have access to the evidence in the criminal proceedings. Without evidence, the university must await the outcome of those proceedings. Therefore the university has no choice but to accept the alleged victim's decision to make the criminal process his first priority."
Bertolone only faces charges relating to the first alleged incident. His trial for felony sexual abuse is scheduled in April.
Anthony Bertolone did not return phone calls seeking comment on these allegations.
ABC 5 does not release names of sexual assault victims.
Statement from second victim:
"Drake University has treated me wonderfully through this situation. The administration has proven to me how much they care. My professors have been very accommodating. I hear a lot of people saying bad things about Drake University, things like ‘They should have kicked out the suspect after the first allegations.' I disagree with that. The University has made it clear why they couldn't do that and why they still cannot do that. There is nothing the University could have done to prevent what happened to me. Nothing. I don't blame Drake at all. It would be too simple to blame Drake. People are freaked out because two sexual assaults were reported at Drake. At least they were reported. Do you know how many sexual assaults never get reported? Lots. Why? It's tough for victims, who often get blamed, or who don't have great support systems. Our society is scared to talk about sexual assault, our society doesn't know how to talk about sexual assault, there is no discourse for sexual assault. If the question is could Drake do a better job of raising awareness about sexual assault? The answer is yes. But, as much as this is a fault on Drake, this is a fault on our society as a whole. With that said, I have full confidence that Drake will take the necessary steps to raise proper awareness about sexual assault in the future and work with/for the student organizations that have already put a lot of time into that issue."
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