February 10, 2016

Graffiti Reported on West Campus Prior to Ballinger ’17 Trial

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Updated with additional information.

Following sexual assault charges levied against Wolfgang Ballinger ’17, at least two incidents of graffiti linking fraternities with rape allegations appeared on West Campus Monday.

Cornell police are currently investigating six incidents of graffiti, all reported since the president of Cornell’s Psi Upsilon fraternity was charged with sexual assault. One case of vandalism marked the north wall of the Psi Upsilon fraternity house.

Baker War Memorial Flagpole was painted with graffiti that read “All frats rape,” and a side door at the Delta Upsilon fraternity house was graffitied with the word “Rapist,” according to the Ithaca Voice. Both cases of graffiti were removed by Monday afternoon.

Other graffiti incidents marred the patio and house sign of the Chi Phi fraternity house, the house sign of the Delta Upsilon fraternity house and the glass of the University Avenue bus stop.

In the statement, police acknowledged that some of the other cases of graffiti could have occurred at an earlier date, but said “Each of the 6 cases … is under criminal investigation.”

The reports of graffiti follow a series of charges against Ballinger, who turned himself in to the police Friday, after investigators identified him with the victim’s assistance.

Ballinger’s lawyer announced Saturday that he plans to plead not guilty to counts of first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal act and first-degree sexual abuse.

Ballinger was released at his own recognizance at a preliminary hearing this morning. He did not appear in court  or present evidence at his hearing, and his case will proceed to the grand jury.