The Harrisburg Patriot News Pennlive.com is reporting that Penn State University police are investigating an assault against a freshman woman that, according to the victim, occurred as part of a purported initiation rite into an informal social group at main campus.
Asya Trowell, 18, of Owings Mills, Md., said she was beat repeatedly over parts of two nights April 2 and 3 by two other female students as she sought to affiliate with “Omega Essence,” a female auxiliary to the all-male Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
Trowell, who first told her story to WHP-TV, said she decided to retain Harrisburg attorney Scott Cooper and go public about the assault because, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, she wants to make sure it is not ignored by school officials.
Trowell said that on the nights of April 2 and 3, as she was preparing to join the small group, she was whipped with a wet washcloth, punched, slapped and kicked repeatedly for any transgression as a “pledge.”
Trowell, who went home to Maryland in distress the day after the alleged assaults, wound up being referred to a hospital there for treatment of cuts, bruises and a possible concussion. She reported the incident to police April 9.
A university spokesman confirmed the case is under investigation, and that criminal charges and other university sanctions will be levied if appropriate. Spokesman Annemarie Mountz also noted that Omega Psi Phi, while a nationally-recognized African-American fraternity, is not officialy chartered at Penn State. The fraternity, however, does list a State College chapter.
Trowell said she plans to withdraw from Penn State.
For more on Charles Thompson’s article go to the Patriot News link at: