The Johns Hopkins University has filed disciplinary charges against three members of a campus fraternity after a Loyola College sophomore accused them of sexually assaulting her last fall.
In announcing the charges yesterday, officials said that the assault took place on a Saturday night last September during the first weekend of school. The woman, who was examined at a hospital several hours after the incident, declined at the time to press either criminal or campus charges.
But, after rumors of the assault flooded the Hopkins campus, the woman went to Hopkins officials last month and filed a complaint against the three men, officials at the two campuses said.
Hopkins officials decided to press the disciplinary charges after interviewing the woman and the three men, according to campus spokesman Dennis O'Shea.
"The office of the dean of students has investigated the woman's complaints and determined there is sufficient evidence to warrant disciplinary proceedings," Mr. O'Shea said.
Hopkins officials withheld the names of the victim and the accused, citing privacy laws. Details of the incident are scarce.
The men, who were formally notified of the charges Tuesday and yesterday, are members of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, on 33rd Street between Charles and St. Paul streets, according to a report in the News-Letter, the Hopkins student newspaper.
Loyola is less than a mile north of Hopkins.
The university was not expected to begin its formal disciplinary procedure before the middle of next week.
The president of the fraternity did not return phone calls yesterday. Three other members declined to comment and referred questions to the fraternity president.
The men are the first in memory to face Hopkins proceedings on sexual assault charges, Mr. O'Shea said. Penalties for the men could include expulsion or suspension.
In an apparently unrelated incident, another Loyola student came forward recently alleging she had been sexually assaulted by Hopkins students. The woman has now declined to file formal charges, however, according to Mark Kelly, a Loyola spokesman.
Anonymous fliers appeared on the Hopkins campus several weeks ago alluding to sexual assaults at fraternities. The fliers and other rumors prompted Dr. Susan K. Boswell, the dean of students, to send a letter to students saying that the administration was investigating.
"The university from the president's office down views such abuse as intolerable and is making every effort to get at the facts," Dr. Boswell wrote.
Some students have raised questions about the university's disciplinary procedure, which puts the decision in Dr. Boswell's hands and prohibits the accused from being represented by an attorney at the hearing.
According to news reports, students at other campuses across the country have turned to college administrations, rather than to police, when making sexual assault charges.
Mr. O'Shea said Hopkins has planned changes in its disciplinary process for some time, well before this case surfaced. By fall, the university plans to establish a judicial board, which would have some student members, to hear disciplinary cases, he said.
The alleged victim saw a doctor at a hospital two days after the September incident but decided not to call police, according to Dr. Susan Hickey, Loyola's dean of students.
"It's been very courageous of her to go forward now," Dr. Hickey said.
City police spokesman Sam Ringgold said police would not investigate unless the woman filed a criminal complaint.