Wolfgang Ballinger '17, a former student and fraternity president at Cornell, was sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty to a sex offense.

May 13, 2016

Ballinger ’17 Files Suit Claiming University Assault Investigations Are ‘Flawed’

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Wolfgang Ballinger ’17 — who was charged with assaulting a female student in his room at the Psi Upsilon fraternity on Jan. 31 — has filed a civil suit against Cornell claiming that the University’s investigations do not comply with state guidelines, according to court documents obtained by The Sun.

The Tompkins County Supreme Court granted Ballinger a temporary restraining order on Monday that prevents Cornell from adjudicating claims until June 30, when the court will review his petition.

Ballinger’s suit alleges that Cornell’s sexual assault investigation processes are currently in violation of New York State Education Law — which requires, among other things, that defendants be able to present evidence and testify at a hearing — the documents say.

Under current policies, an investigator collects evidence from the witnesses, complainant and accused and presents a report to a review panel, according to the court documents.

The University is in the process of revising its policies and an updated version will be put into use on Aug. 31, documents say.

Ballinger, a junior in the School of Hotel Administration and Psi Upsilon’s president, was charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal act and first-degree sexual abuse on Feb. 5. He pled not guilty to all counts on Feb. 6.

The University placed the fraternity on interim suspension Feb. 1, in connection with the incident, and has not yet released a statement lifting the suspension.

Cornell’s media relations department has said that the University has no information to share on the case at this time.

Madeline Cohen ’18 contributed reporting to this article.