Jason Ben Nathan / Sun Staff Photographer

The former Psi Upsilon fraternity house, located at 2 Forest Park Ln. on West Campus.

February 10, 2016

Ballinger ’17 Released on Own Recognizance at Preliminary Hearing

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Updated with additional information.

Wolfgang Ballinger ’17, president of Cornell’s Psi Upsilon fraternity, was released on his own recognizance at his preliminary hearing Tuesday. The suspect, charged with sexual assault, did not appear in court and his case will proceed to the grand jury.

Ballinger waived his right to appear personally at the hearing, Ballinger’s attorney told the court Tuesday morning.



In proceedings that lasted under five minutes, assistant district attorney Wendy Franklin said no evidence would be presented at the felony hearing.

“We will go to the grand jury,” Franklin said.

Ballinger was then released by the court on his own recognizance — promising in writing to appear in court for all following proceedings. He had previously been remanded to the Tompkins County Jail awaiting a $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.

On Saturday, Ballinger pled not guilty to first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal act and first-degree sexual abuse. Police have charged him with one Class D and two Class B felonies.

Ballinger was remanded in connection with an incident at Psi Upsilon’s fraternity house, after a female student reported she was sexually assaulted after being led to a bedroom at the house at 2 a.m. on Jan. 31.

Ballinger allegedly forced the student to engage in oral sex, sexually violated her with his hands and attempted to have sexual intercourse her, according to court documents.

The victim helped investigators identify Ballinger, and he turned himself in Feb. 4, according to a police statement.

The University placed Psi Upsilon on interim suspension Feb. 1, following the sexual assault allegations.

Devon Gilliams contributed reporting to this article.